Progressive groups in California are re-forming the powerful coalition of organizations that were instrumental in pushing forward legislation that protected California homeowners from predatory banks and passed Proposition 30 to balance California’s budget. This time, members of the Millionaires Tax and Homeowner Bill of Rights coalitions are uniting again to urge the California Legislature to pass the Lifesaving Intelligent Firearms Enforcement (LIFE) Act to reduce gun violence.
The LIFE Act, standing for “Lifesaving Intelligent Firearms Enforcement” includes eight separate bills that close loopholes, increase required training, and provide the resources to get illegal guns off the street.
The coalition is led by the progressive California-based CourageCampaign.org in conjunction with the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE), Bend the Arc: A Jewish Alliance for Justice, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, California Church Impact, the California Federation of Teachers, Clergy and Laity for Economic Justice - California (CLUE CA), CREDO Action, Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, and PICO.
The LIFE Act includes eight bills all backed by California Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg. They are:
Senate Bill 140 (Leno/Steinberg) gives law enforcement the resources to confiscate the guns of Californians who are known to illegally possess them, currently there is an 18,000 person backlog;
- SB 53 (de León) requires a background check for all ammunition purchases;
- SB 47 (Yee) closes a loophole in California's assault weapons ban that allows guns with a "bullet button" to sneak through;
- SB 396 (Hancock) outlaws “mega-magazines” that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition;
- SB 755 (Wolk) expands the list of Californians who can't legally own guns to include those convicted of multiple drug/alcohol convictions, carrying ammunition onto school grounds, active participation in street gangs, and others;
- SB 374 (Steinberg) bans semi-automatic rifles with detachable magazines and retroactively requires an ownership record for all guns;
- SB 683 (Block) expands safety certificate requirements to long guns, rather than just handguns;
- SB 567 (Jackson) closes a loophole in California's definition of an illegal shotgun to include a shotgun with a revolving cylinder and a rifled bore.
- “California has a history of pioneering legislation to protect its people. The LIFE Act would make dramatic strides in reducing gun violence and reclaim California's standing as the national leader on gun safety,” said Rick Jacobs, chair and founder of CourageCampaign.org. “As Washington continues to dither, California must act."
On Tuesday, April 16th -- the day that many of the bills are heard in committee -- Courage Campaign and CREDO Action plan to present tens of thousands of signatures in support of the LIFE Act package of legislation.