SACRAMENTO — Several California lawmakers reacted Monday to the mass shooting a Connecticut elementary school by calling for new laws that they say are aimed at increasing safety, either through gun control or improved security at public schools.
U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein announced federal legislation that would ban new assault weapons, as well as big clips, drums and strips of more than 10 bullets to “take these dangerous weapons of war off our streets.”
State Sen. Leland Yee, meanwhile, said he will introduce a bill to close what he calls a loophole in the state’s ban on assault weapons and is considering changes to state gun laws on everything from background checks to storage regulations.
And state Sen. Ted Lieu announced plans to re-introduce legislation aimed at requiring schools to be better prepared for emergency situations such as a gunman on the loose.
Yee, D-San Francisco, said he hopes the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., which killed 20 young children, will lead to greater support for revisiting California’s gun laws.
“We must reinstate the federal assault weapon ban and close the bullet button loophole that has severely weakened California’s assault weapon ban,” Yee said in a statement.
The so-called bullet button loophole allows gun manufacturers to sell weapons in California that can be quickly reloaded using a simple tool. The bullet buttons get around the state’s ban on detachable magazines that can be used to swiftly reload a rifle or shotgun.
Feinstein, a Democrat, said she and her staff have been working on gun control legislation for a year and that the plan will focus on “the most dangerous guns that have killed so many people over the years” while still protecting the rights of gun owners.
She said in a statement that she intends to announce the proposal on the first day of the new Congress and that she is in the process of gathering support.