On Saturday, San Francisco will host at least two events to mark the anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.
One of those events, an anti-gun violence rally at United Nations Plaza, will also focus on new gun related laws passed in California as a result of the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut.
“We didn’t get everything we wanted but we certainly made some progress,” said State Senator Mark Leno (D-San Francisco).
Senator Leno will speak at the rally and talk about SB 140, a bill he authored and Governor Brown signed, that provides funding to seize guns from people prohibited from possessing firearms.
“We know of 20,000 such people with about 40,000 weapons. So, that’s a good place to start.” said Leno.
SB 140 will provide 24-million dollars to fill a funding gap that prevented law enforcement from tracking down known persons prohibited yet in possession of firearms.
After Sandy Hook, the Democrat control legislature in Sacramento put forward dozens of bills related to guns with seventeen ultimately passed by both houses.
Of those, seven were vetoed by Governor Brown including three out of five bills considered cornerstones of gun control efforts by legislative Democrats.
One key bill vetoed would have prohibited the future sale, purchase, and manufacture of semi-automatic rifles that accept detachable magazines.
“I don’t understand why the Governor would have vetoed that but he did,” said Leno.
That veto, and others, served as a partial victory for gun rights advocates.
“2013 started out with almost 40 gun bills introduced by the legislature,” says Gun Owners of California Executive Director Sam Paredes. “Ultimately the Governor only signed six.”
Paredes argues only six bills passed were true gun control measures. The others touted by gun control advocates, he says, were non-controversial.
One measure that passed expands the safety certificate required for buyers of handguns to purchasers of all firearms.
“The Legislature in California missed the mark by a country mile in having something significant that would impact something like Sandy Hook in California.” said Paredes.
He and other 2nd amendment advocates say these new laws will eventually be challenged in court.