By Besha Rodell
By Patrick Range McDonald
By Michael Goldstein
By Dennis Romero
By Sarah Fenske
By Matthew Mullins
By Patrick Range McDonald
By LA Weekly
Scott’s other measure would close loopholes in penalties for leaving guns within reach of children. It would become a misdemeanor if a child obtained a handgun that was within easy reach of ammunition — if the gun owner knew that children could likely get access to the gun. And the bill would prohibit parents from giving their children permission to use handguns, unless parents or authorized adults are supervising — much like a 12-year-old can’t drive legally even if Dad says it’s okay.
The final bill, from Assemblyman Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento), would prevent the return of weapons seized by police until authorities can perform a background check.
Schwarzenegger’s actions stand in sharp contrast to those of President Bush, who spoke in favor of extending the federal assault-weapons ban, but quietly let it expire this week. Outside of symbolism, the actual value of the federal law is debatable; it was so full of loopholes that gun-makers and importers could readily work around its restrictions. It was largely Republican lawmakers who refused to close these enforcement gaps and who also let the law itself die.
“I’m terribly distressed over fact that the federal government has let the assault-weapons ban expire,” Senator Scott said. “Already the gun manufacturers are getting ready to sell these weapons, and they’re just for one purpose: to kill people.”
Scott remained hopeful that Schwarzenegger also would come through on the other bills, despite resistance from his own party and the gun lobby. “I’m sure that he’ll face a lot of pressure,” said Scott. “The gun lobby is always active. But he has not taken the NRA line. He’s open to the possibility of gun control.” The NRA won’t issue its first rating on Schwarzenegger till October because he’s so new to politics. In fact, not even Schwarzenegger’s spokesperson on gun control could offer specific Schwarzenegger positions on many existing and potential gun-control measures — other than to say that the governor would uphold the law.
So even though Schwarzenegger already has gone to great lengths to take a tiny, harmless toy gun out of his own hands, it remains to be seen how much more he’ll do regarding the real article.
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