Asm. Rob Bonta

ASSEMBLY//LEGISLATIVE UPDATE | When Oakland Assemblyman Rob Bonta was named chair of a select committee on curbing gun violence in the East Bay, it came as no surprise. Five of Bonta’s crop of 19 pieces of legislation deal specifically with guns in a district dominated by the city’s continually high rate of homicide.

In light of the Newtown, Conn. shooting last December, all levels have government have brought the issue of gun in America to the forefront of national discourse. Although California has one of the most stringent laws concerning the purchase of assault weapons, Bonta’s legislation looks to further tighten state law.

Two well-publicized bills would place an unspecified tax on the sale of ammunition. Tax revenue would then be earmarked to aid cities with high crime rates, not surprisingly, Oakland, included.

Assault weapons and other types of firearms cannot be purchased in California. However, those types of guns already owned by residents were exempted by a grandfather clause. But, AB 174 would end provisions of those exemptions. The spot bill, as of yet, gives no additional details.

AB 1020 would mandate the state attorney general send purchasers and sellers of firearms a letter within the 10-day waiting period for buying guns notifying them of laws pertaining to gun trafficking and the safe storage of weapons.

With AB 514, Bonta attempts to get school-age children in his 18th Assembly District involved in lawmaking. The bill hopes to enact the “Safe Schools for Safe Learning Act of 2013” with help from students who are asked the question, “What would make you feel safer at school?” The bill says the wording of the act will be based upon the answers his office receives from students in the district.