In response to recent gun violence across the state and nation, lawmakers are pushing ahead with efforts to strengthen gun laws in California.
Two bills aiming to bolster California’s gun laws cleared key committees on Tuesday.
“While in California we pride ourselves having fairly strict gun control laws, we’ve done better than other states but still, not good enough,” said Assembly Member Phil Ting, D-San Francisco.
Assembly Bill 1594 passed its first hearing in the Assembly Judiciary Committee in a 7-2 vote.
The bill would allow private citizens, local governments and the state attorney general to sue gun makers and sellers. Supporters said the measure would make sure the gun industry faces accountability like every other industry.
“I don’t think it’s very fair that the toy industry has a lot more liability than the gun industry,” Ting said.
Opponents criticized the bill for being vague, and some said the bill contradicts federal law.
“If passed, it would result in distracted law enforcement and wasted tax dollars. It will be challenged, and it will be repealed,” said Roy Griffith, with the California Rifle and Pistol Association.
Assembly Bill 1621 was another bill that cleared its first committee.
The bill aims to strengthen the state’s ban on ghost guns by halting the sale of untraceable gun parts. It also requires anyone in possession of unserialized guns to make them traceable.
Mia Tretta was shot at a school shooting in Southern California in 2019. Her classmate used a ghost gun to kill two other classmates before killing himself.
She recently stood alongside President Joe Biden when he promised to crack down on ghost guns. She dialed into Tuesday’s hearing at the State Capitol.
“Anyone with a credit card and the skills to build Ikea furniture with some spare time can make the same gun that took the lives of two of my classmates and changed mine forever,” Tretta said.
Opponents said lawmakers need to focus more on the people using the weapons.
“Firearm parts don’t kill people; behavior kills people. And that’s where I wish our focus would be directed toward violent behavior used with any weapon no matter what it is,” said Assembly Member Tom Lackey, R-Palmdale.
Both bills now head to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.