California Governor Vetoes Several Tough Gun Control Bills

by
Reuters
California Governor Jerry Brown vetoed several closely watched gun control bills on Friday, a move that essentially rebuffs an effort by fellow Democrats to enact a sweeping expansion of firearms regulation in the most populous U.S. state.

California Governor Jerry Brown speaks during ceremonies before signing AB60 into law in Los Angeles

California Governor Jerry Brown vetoed several closely watched gun control bills on Friday, a move that essentially rebuffs an effort by fellow Democrats to enact a sweeping expansion of firearms regulation in the most populous U.S. state.

Brown vetoed the strictest bill, which would have classified any rifle with a removable magazine as an assault weapon, calling it an "infringement on gun owners' rights."

"I don't believe that this bill's blanket ban on semi-automatic rifles would reduce criminal activity or enhance public safety enough to warrant this infringement on gun owners' rights," Brown said in his veto message.

He also vetoed a measure that would have banned people from owning a gun for 10 years if they had been convicted of substance abuse violations or ordered to undergo outpatient mental health treatment.

Brown did, however sign some new firearms regulations, including a measure to ban kits used to convert standard guns into semi-automatics with large capacity magazines.

California's actions come amid national political lobbying around gun control, as lawmakers struggle to balance calls for increased regulation in the wake of devastating mass shootings against fear among gun rights supporters that their constitutional right to bear arms may be violated.