Brown should have signed assault weapons bill
Re “Governor misleads on claim of ‘gigantic back door’ to terrorism” (Page 8A, Dec. 8): Gov. Jerry Brown criticized Arizona and Nevada for lax gun laws. Guns used by Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik in the San Bernardino mass shooting were purchased legally in California. In 2013, Brown vetoed Senate Bill 374, a bill that would have banned the sale of the types of semi-automatic rifles used by Farook and Malik.
Although the couple reportedly acquired the rifles from a neighbor before 2013, SB 374 also would have required the owner of the rifles to register them with the Justice Department.
Had the guns been registered, it’s less likely the neighbor would have given them to Farook and Malik, and the San Bernardino mass shooting might have been prevented. If Brown is concerned about preventing terrorism, he should ask the Legislature to resubmit SB 374.
Bill Durston, Gold River
Brown is right about states’ weak gun laws
Gov. Jerry Brown is correct that other states’ gun laws on private-party transactions pose a direct threat to California.
Arizona and Nevada do not have meaningful private-party transaction controls. Guns seep into this state from those states causing problems here. California legislators addressed the issue by approving AB 1609 in 2014 to regulate importation after out-of-state receipt.
In 2015, Nevada made matters worse by stripping Clark County of its power to implement its 55-year-old handgun registration ordinance. Most of this importation conduct violates federal law, but that assumes federal authorities have the wherewithal to deal with this, which they don’t. AB 1609 makes importation of firearms by Californians outside California illegal under state law.
In November 2016, Nevada voters will vote on a universal background check measure. Some people may not like the specifics of the measure, but it was put on the ballot after Gov. Brian Sandoval vetoed a prior bill. If the Arizona Legislature does not act, I have no doubt that there will be a ballot measure in Arizona as well.
Irwin Nowick, California Senate staffer, Sacramento
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