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Governor signs 15 gun bills aimed at restraining orders, sales, ‘ghost guns’

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Scot Tucker/SFBay
Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom looks up as President of Board of Supervisors and acting Mayor of the city and county of San Francisco London Breed speaks during a press conference announcing the death of Mayor Ed Lee at City Hall on Tuesday, December 12, 2017. Ed Lee passed away from an apparent heart attack late Monday night while shopping at his neighborhood grocery store.

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a slew of legislation on Friday to tighten California’s gun laws, including new restrictions on restraining orders, sales and “ghost guns.”

In all, Newsom signed 15 bills into law that will enact new gun regulations in California.

Newsom said in a statement:

“Gun violence is an epidemic in this country, and one that’s been enflamed by the inaction of politicians in Washington.”

“California is once again leading the nation in passing meaningful gun safety reforms.”

The package includes five bills that strengthen gun violence restraining orders, which are judicial orders prohibiting gun possession for people determined to be at risk of harming themselves or others. Current law limits such restraining orders to a maximum of one year, but AB 12 by Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin, D-Thousand Oaks, will extend that to five years.

Also, such restraining orders can currently only be recommended by a member of the person’s immediate family or a law enforcement official, but AB 61 by Assmeblymember Phil Ting, D-San Francisco, allows employers, employees, coworkers or teachers to petition for a gun violence restraining order as well.

Ting said in a statement such restraining orders:

“[A]re a proven gun violence prevention tool that can help save lives.”

He noted that research by University of California at Davis found that no one in a sample of individuals subjected to gun violence restraining orders were involved in subsequent gun-related violence.

Newsom also signed two bills regulating gun and ammunition sales that were sponsored by Attorney General Xavier Becerra.

SB 376 by Sen. Anthony Portantino, D-La Caada Flintridge, caps firearm sales by individuals without a license at five transactions or 50 firearms and requires background checks for guns sold at auction or in raffles. Previously such restrictions were only on handguns. AB 1669 by Assemblymember Rob Bonta, D-Alameda, widens regulations on gun shows to cover ammunition sales as well.

Officials with Becerra’s office said in a statement:

“The new laws will be critical to closing loopholes and strengthening ammunition background checks.”

Another bill signed by Newsom Friday is aimed at curbing the proliferation of “ghost guns,” firearms constructed from individual parts that have no registration or serial number.

A bill by Assemblymember Mike Gipson, D-Carson, will require that certain parts that could be used to build firearms be sold through a licensed vendor starting in 2024.

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