Legislation aimed at closing a legal "loophole" allowing owners of military-style guns to sidestep the state's assault weapons ban has died in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.
Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, said the appropriations committee has decided not to hear Senate Bill 249 on Thursday, when it must decide which bills reach the Assembly floor for a vote before lawmakers adjourn for the year Aug. 31.
SB 249 would ban devices that allow magazines of ammunition to be reloaded so quickly that semiautomatic firearms can be fired almost like assault weapons, releasing dozens of bullets within seconds, Yee said.
Yee's bill comes in the wake of mass murders in Colorado and Wisconsin that he says have generated momentum for a crackdown.
"My greatest fear is that another senseless act of violence will happen before the loophole is closed," Yee said in a prepared statement. "Despite the gun lobby's efforts to derail common sense legislation, I will not give up this fight."
Geoff Long, chief consultant for the appropriations committee, said that Yee's proposed ban was crafted only this month, targets a major issue, and has not been the subject of a public hearing by policy committees of either house. Action should not be rushed on it, he said.