Capitol Alert

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With lawmakers reconvening at the Capitol today to start their new legislative year, Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner unveiled another in a wave of new bills to crack down on guns or ammunition.

Skinner's measure comes in the wake of last month's massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown Conn., where 20 children and six adults were killed before the gunman committed suicide.

The Berkeley Democrat is proposing Assembly Bill 48, which would require sellers of ammunition to be licensed and for purchasers to show identification. All sales would be reported to the Department of Justice.

The Department of Justice would be required under AB 48 to notify local law enforcement of large-quantity purchases over a five-day period by an individual who is not a peace officer. The threshold for notification has not been set.

AB 48 also would ban the manufacture, sale or import of any device that enables a gun to fire more than 10 rounds at one time.

Last month, Sen. Kevin de Leon, D-Los Angeles, proposed legislation to require ammunition buyers to purchase annual permits that would cost about $50. The process would include a yearly background check.

Sen. Ted Gaines, R-Rocklin, proposed a measure to permanently prohibit various mentally ill Californians from ever buying a firearm.

State law currently bars possession or ownership by a mentally disordered sex offender or someone judged to be dangerous due to mental instability. Courts can overturn the ban, however, once the person receives treatment. Gaines proposal would eliminate any possibility of petitioning courts.

State Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, has vowed to push a proposal, sidetracked last year, that would prohibit devices allowing ammunition to be reloaded so quickly that semi-automatic weapons can be fired almost like assault weapons.

Other lawmakers reported are weighing other possibilities, including a mandate that lost or stolen firearms be reported quickly to local law enforcement.


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