Gun control in California
It is estimated that 40, 000 handguns and assault weapons are illegally owned by Californians. April 2013, the California state legislature passed a bill that approved $24 million expenditure in confiscating these illegally owned weapons.
The passage of the bill elicited mixed reactions from various individuals on opposing sides. Leno said in a statement that it was fortunate for the Californians to be the first and only system in America that tracks and disarm people who had lost the legal rights to own firearms. He added that due to lack of resources, only a few of the illegal firearms have been confiscated as the number of illegal firearms continued to grow daily. Assemblyman Brian Jones in his reaction expressed cynicism when he gave his reasons for voting against the bill. He was of the opinion that the fees that make up the DROS funds were intended to cover the cost of background checks as opposed to confiscation. In a rejoinder towards Brian Jones, Deborah Azrael, the associate director of the Harvard Youth Violence Prevention Centre said that background checks can only affect the next gun purchased and not the sizable magnitude of guns already out there.
To lose the right to own a gun in California requires one to be deemed mentally unfit or committed to mental hospital, conviction, legally incompetence, and criminal history. Lynda Gledhill, spokesperson of the California DOJ, asserted that about 30% of the individuals deemed unfit to own guns have criminal records, 30% are mentally unstable, 20% of them have restraining order, and a small percentage have warrant out for their arrest.
Lenos bill then headed to the Senate for approval of some noncontroversial amendments before it goes to Gov. Jerry Browns (D) desk where it was signed by the governor and took effect immediately.
California Gun Confiscation Bill Passes, Approves $24 Million to Expedite Illegal Gun
Seizure, 19 April.2013. Web.8 May.2013.