New gun control legislation passes with bipartisian support 

Assemblywoman Cecilia Aguiar-Curry’s bill on universal background checks has passed through its first committee with a 7-1 vote. 

Assembly Joint Resolution 4, passed out of the Assembly Public Safety Committee on Feb. 26, and will next go to the assembly floor for a vote of the full State Assembly. 

Passing AJR 4 puts California’s Legislature on record demanding a Presidential signature on House Resolution 8, by Congressman Mike Thompson, D-St. Helena, the “Bipartisan Background Checks Act,” which was approved by the House of Representatives on Feb. 27. 

H.R. 8 requires federal background checks for all firearms sales and transfers, and is the first major gun control legislation considered by Congress in nearly 25 years.

“I will do everything I can to support Congressman Thompson’s efforts,” said Aguiar-Curry, D-Winters, in a statement. “Nearly 1,200 children have been killed by guns in our country since the Parkland shootings in Florida last year. I simply cannot understand why Congress has not acted (before) to pass a measure which prevents criminals and the mentally ill from bypassing checks on their ability to obtain weapons, especially ones meant for no other purpose than to hurt or kill human beings.” 

H.R. 8 requires unlicensed gun sellers to perform background checks on gun purchasers and transferees by requiring them to utilize licensed dealers to sell and transfer firearms.

“This is not about keeping guns away from law-abiding people, hunters, recreational shooters, or people seeking to defend their homes, businesses, and properties,” Aguiar-Curry said. “I am disappointed by the weak excuses provided during the committee hearing by the small number of opponents. Any claim that background checks don’t stop crimes is aiding and abetting criminals’ unchecked access to firearms being used on our nation’s innocent bystanders and children.”

Rep. Doug LaMalfa, D-Richvale, opposed both H.R. 8 and H.R. 1112, the Enhanced Background Checks Act, which passed in the House of Representatives on Thursday. 

“Both of these bills claim to make Americans safer from gun violence, but in reality, both only infringe upon the 2nd Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens,” LaMalfa said, on Facebook. “By definition, criminals don’t follow these laws in the first place. The Senate must reject these bills which do not work and would only endanger more innocent Americans.” ■