Just days after the Orlando Pulse nightclub massacre, the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history, California lawmakers are contemplating a full agenda of gun control bills.
The presidential candidates have used the shooting to call for a wide range of action. Republican Donald Trump reiterated his call for a ban on Muslim immigration and stronger efforts to combat “radical Islamic terrorism,” while Hillary Clinton said stricter gun control laws were necessary to prevent individuals like the suspect, Omar Mateen, from buying guns legally.
Starting at 9 a.m. today, California legislators will hear a plethora of gun control bills in both houses spread out over three committees. The bills span issues that include bans on assault weapons, reporting procedures for lost and stolen guns, creating a database of ammunition owners, placing serial numbers on firearms, funding for gun control research, classifying parts of guns as guns themselves, a ban on buying more than one firearm per month, and expanding who can request a gun violence restraining order.
Meanwhile, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom has announced that his gun control initiative has amassed the necessary signatures to advance to the Nov. 8 ballot.
NOT BIRDS, NOT PLANES, DRONES: Drones will be buzzing above the Capitol grounds this morning as part of live drone demonstrations courtesy of the California Tech Caucus, the Consumer Technology Association, and the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International. The drones will be flying from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the Capitol’s North Lawn to raise awareness about the benefits of drones. Tech Caucus co-chairs Assemblymen Evan Low, D-Campbell, and Ian Calderon, D-Whittier, will attend. Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed most of the drone regulatory bills sent to him last year, but lawmakers have a handful under consideration this year.
SHORTAGE OF HEALTH, STEM GRADUATES: The need to boost science, tech, engineering and math learning has become an article of faith among many policymakers and education advocates, influencing policy debates about career-linked learning in high school and the value of a CSU or University of California diploma. Today the non-profit Campaign for College Opportunity plans to release a report spotlighting where California's public colleges have fallen short on producing STEM grads.
RAIL NEEDS MORE TIME, MORE MONEY: The California High Speed Rail Commission will be meeting at 10 a.m. in the California Secretary of State Building to discuss a two-year, $4 million contract extension for Parsons Transportation. The contract extension would enable more environmental impact studies to be done and more community outreach to discuss finalizing a route for the “Central Valley Wye” portion of the proposed rail line near Chowchilla.
Jeremy B. White of The Bee Capitol Bureau contributed to this report.