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California bill seeks to protect gun owners' privacy

January 16, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
The Brady Campaign considers California as having the toughest gun control laws in the country. Still, the Newtown, Conn., school massacre is prompting lawmakers to propose measures that go further than President Barack Obama's package of reforms.

State Sen. Kevin de Leon (D-Los Angeles) wants California to start doing background checks on people before they buy ammunition and require a permit to proceed with the sale.

"Ammunition is, in my opinion, the fuel that feeds the violence in our neighborhoods throughout the state of California," de Leon said.

A new proposal by Republicans also seeks to shield the address and phone numbers of Californians who carry a concealed weapon. Law enforcement will still have access to that information. The goal is to prevent criminals from going to that residence to steal guns or find a family to target if they don't have weapons.

"There's no compelling public safety reason or any reason at all for criminals to have a shopping list of who does and does not have a firearm," said Assemblyman Allan Mansoor (R-Costa Mesa).

As a teenager, Matt Gray survived an attack on five family members and friends who were shot with an AR-15 rifle. Despite that, Gray thinks more gun control is the wrong approach.

"We should be fully investing in mental health services," he said. "We should be investing in the healthy development of our children, making sure bullying is stamped out and everything we need to develop healthy human beings is being provided for."

President Obama's package includes the expansion of mental health services. California Senate President Darrell Steinberg is going to Washington D.C. next week to offer California's model as one the nation could follow. Under Proposition 63, millionaires are taxed extra to pay for mental health services.


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