Capitol Alert

Jerry Brown signs gun control bill

Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a gun control measure eliminating an exemption for certain semiautomatic pistols from California’s unsafe handgun law, Brown’s office announced Friday.

Assembly Bill 1964, by Assemblyman Roger Dickinson, D-Sacramento, is designed to limit the exemption for single-shot pistols from the state’s unsafe handgun roster, excluding semiautomatic pistols altered to not fire in semiautomatic mode.

Gun control advocates argued the exemption allowed gun dealers to sell temporarily altered single-shot pistols to people who could convert them back into semiautomatic weapons that do not comply with state safety requirements.

The California Association of Federal Firearms Licensees, which opposed the bill, said it will “further narrow California’s already onerous and overly burdensome ‘not unsafe’ handgun roster and eliminate more firearms from the non-peace officer marketplace,” according to a legislative analysis.

The bill was passed in the Legislature largely on partisan lines, with Democrats in support and Republicans opposed. Brown, a Democrat, signed the measure without comment.

The measure was one of 15 bills Brown announced signing Friday. In another gun measure, Brown signed legislation requiring local courts to notify the Department of Justice more quickly when actions are taken that would result in a person being prohibited from owning guns, such as being found mentally incompetent to stand trial.

Assembly Bill 1591, by Assemblyman Katcho Achadjian, R-San Luis Obispo, shortens from two court days to one the time in which courts must make such a notification.

A state audit last year found California courts did not file at least 2,300 prohibited person reports to the Department of Justice from 2010 through 2012.