Capitol Alert

Gavin Newsom plans to go further on gun control than Jerry Brown

Hours after another mass shooting in Southern California, Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom said Thursday that he “will raise the bar” on gun control when he takes over in January.

In San Francisco to feed the homeless at St. Anthony’s, his first public event since winning election on Tuesday, Newsom said he would revisit some of the bills that Gov. Jerry Brown has rejected during his two terms.

“There are a number of things he vetoed that I would not have vetoed, and there are a number of things that I want that haven’t been done,” Newsom said in an interview with The Sacramento Bee. He declined to discuss specific policies.

One possibility is an expansion of California’s gun violence restraining order law, which allows police and family members to seek the temporary removal of firearms from someone they believe is a danger to themselves or others. Brown has twice vetoed, including in September, a measure that would also allow employers, co-workers, high school and college staff, and mental health providers to petition for a gun violence restraining order. Newsom indicated Thursday that he was open to the idea.

“People that are dangerously mentally ill and have previously had incidences with law enforcement, I think those red flags are appropriate and I think California can continue to lead the nation in terms of advancing prohibitions,” he said at a press conference.

At least 13 people, many of them students at Pepperdine University, were killed late Wednesday night at a bar in Thousand Oaks. According to authorities, the shooter used a .45 caliber Glock handgun with an extended magazine, a modification that is not legal in California.

Led by Newsom, California voters in 2016 approved an initiative prohibiting the possession of magazines capable of holding more than ten rounds. Those provisions, which would require individuals to give up high-capacity magazines that were previously grandfathered in as part of a previous ban, are currently tied up in a lawsuit.

“So we’ve got to push those through, we’ve got to get out of the courts and we’ve got to implement them,” Newsom said.

He also blamed Congress for failing to act on what he said has become an “insane” normalization of gun violence, pointing to the muted national reaction to a mass shooting less than two weeks ago at a Pittsburgh synagogue, where 11 congregants were killed.

“They can do something about this at scale,” Newsom said at the press conference. “But in the absence of that, we will lead.”

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