The massacre at an Orlando nightclub has reignited the national debate over gun laws. Where do California’s state legislators and Senate and Assembly candidates stand on the issues of gun laws? Read how they answered those questions in March, when they submitted information for the 2016 Sacramento Bee Voter Guide. Specifically, they were asked: Explain how you would change California’s gun laws.
CALIFORNIA SENATE: District 1
Ted Gaines (R): California already has the strictest gun laws in the nation, and crime continues to be a problem in our communities. Before any new gun laws are imposed on law-abiding citizens, we need to focus first on taking guns out of the hands of criminals.
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Rob Rowen (D): As a gun owner, I am fine with our current level of regulations in California. This is an area where one size fits all does not work; rural citizens have a defined need, where some urban residents might not. I support 2nd Amendment rights.
CALIFORNIA SENATE: District 3
Bill Dodd (D): It is long past time to stop people who shouldn’t have access to guns, most particularly mentally ill people, from acquiring them. We need better screening and sensible restrictions. I’m a hunter who believes we must act to stop senseless violence.
Mariko Yamada (D): We should close gun sale loopholes while also acknowledging responsible gun ownership. Keeping guns and ammunition away from criminals and the mentally ill is common sense.
CALIFORNIA SENATE: District 5
Cathleen Galgiani (D): Responsible Californians should have access to purchase guns in the least restrictive manner. We need to also keep guns out of the hands of mentally unstable individuals and criminals. Current law needs to be enforced.
Alan Nakanishi (R): I support the United States Constitution, which includes the Second Amendment. I oppose gun control because it is unconstitutional, and a person has the right to protect themselves and their family.
CALIFORNIA ASSEMBLY: District 3
James Gallagher (R): I will oppose efforts that infringe on law-abiding citizens’ ability to exercise their Second Amendment rights. I will also continue to support proposals to better ensure that firearms are kept out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill.
Edward Ritchie (D): All gun laws should be put in place to ensure public safety, not to punish responsible gun owners (of which I’m one). Making it harder for known criminals to acquire guns is common sense.
CALIFORNIA ASSEMBLY: District 4
Charlie Schaupp (R): My view is our state wrongfully continues to infringe on our Second Amendment rights. Laws need to be drafted to protect the rights of law-abiding citizens to protect themselves while harshly punishing those that use a gun to commit crime.
Cecilia M. Aguiar-Curry (D): We need to make sure no one has access to assault weapons and enormous quantities of ammunition in California. The gun violence we have seen play out all over this country needs to be seriously addressed.
CALIFORNIA ASSEMBLY, District 5
Frank Bigelow (R): I fully support the Second Amendment. I’d only change California’s gun laws to make the Second Amendment stronger.
Robert Carabas (D): The Newtown children were the victims, so let’s get sensible gun laws. Then the NRA says, you’re attacking my 2nd amendment rights. Now, they’re victims? Eighty percent of the country want sensible gun laws but that is only meaningful in a democracy.
CALIFORNIA ASSEMBLY, District 6
Brian Caples (D): When elected, I swear an oath to uphold the Constitution. Unless the Second Amendment changes, I support our constitutional right to bear arms. California is already doing enough to balance public safety with our Second Amendment rights.
Kevin Kiley (R): Legislators have a duty to protect the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens while keeping firearms out of the hands of dangerous criminals. I would lessen restrictions on gun ownership while increasing the penalty for stealing a gun.
CALIFORNIA ASSEMBLY, District 7
Kevin McCarty (D): We need to push smart reforms to help curb gun violence. Some efforts include background checks for ammunition purchases, increased gun dealer oversight and closing the assault weapon loophole.
CALIFORNIA ASSEMBLY, District 8
Ken Cooley (D): Candidate did not respond.
Nick Bloise (R): I oppose any laws restricting the Second Amendment gun rights of law-abiding citizens. Make penalties more severe for criminals who use a gun in committing a crime. Use of an assault weapon in a crime should automatically be a death penalty offense.
CALIFORNIA ASSEMBLY, District 9
Jim Cooper (D): Though I support the 2nd Amendment, I also support firearm legislation signed into law over the past several years, as well as existing gun laws in this state. I’d perhaps favor a few more minor restrictions on certain semi-automatic weapons.
Tim Gorsulowsky (R): Candidate response is not yet available.
CALIFORNIA ASSEMBLY, District 11
Jim Frazier (D): I support a ban on automatic assault weapons. I believe in the right to bear arms and am reluctant to infringe on law-abiding citizens. But I do believe we need to look at comprehensive legislation dealing with mental health issues and gun ownership.
Dave Miller (R): I work to defeat any proposed gun or ammunition restrictions, put forth by any Democrats in favor of gun control. It’s a right, not a suggestion.