A bill intended to ban features allowing the quick reloading of semiautomatic assault weapons has been blocked from proceeding to a vote in the Legislature.
The bill, SB249 by Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, will not get a hearing in the Assembly Appropriations Committee on Thursday as was scheduled. The bill seeks to ban features on guns that allow for magazines of ammunition to be changed out rapidly, which gun control advocates say is a loophole in California’s strict gun laws.
Gatto said the bill would almost certainly result in expensive lawsuits that, if they went in favor of gun rights groups, could actually undermine California’s gun control laws.
“We could end up where this bill did the exact opposite of what it was designed to do,” Gatto said, adding that it was “extraordinary for something like this to start in a fiscal committee.”
Attorney General Kamala Harris supports the measure, and a spokeswoman said Harris would continue to work with the Legislature to close the “loophole” in the law.
Gun rights groups including the National Rifle Association vehemently oppose the proposal. In an online alert to members, the NRA Members’ Councils of California called the bill “California’s worst gun confiscation threat in 20 years.”