| LOS ANGELES
LOS ANGELES Dec 18 California lawmakers,
spurred to action by the massacre of 26 people at a Connecticut
elementary school last week, are opening a campaign for stricter
gun control in the state with plans for legislation to make it
tougher to get ammunition.
California state Senator Kevin De Leon, a Democrat from Los
Angeles, said on Tuesday he would introduce a bill requiring
buyers of ammunition in the nation's most populous state to
obtain a permit issued by the U.S. Department of Justice.
His move came as another California Democrat said he would
move to strengthen state gun laws, and after California's
treasurer proposed that state public pension funds sell their
interest in any company that makes guns that are illegal under
California's assault weapons ban.
"For too long, too much ground has been ceded in the debate
about reasonable gun and ammunition control," De Leon said in a
statement. "In honor of the Sandy Hook Elementary School victims
and thousands who have preceded them, we must not capitulate any
A gunman carrying semi-automatic weapons opened fire on
Friday at the school in Newtown, Connecticut, killing 20 young
students and six teachers in a crime that stunned many Americans
and renewed calls for stricter gun controls.
De Leon said the one-year, $50 permit, which would require a
background check by the Justice Department, was an effort to
combat the easy accessibility of ammunition. A spokesman said he
would likely introduce his proposed legislation later this week.
Adding to the push, California state Senator Leland Yee, a
Democrat, on Tuesday introduced legislation that he said was
intended to close loopholes in the state's assault weapons ban.
Yee has called for reinstatement of a federal assault
weapons ban and said he was examining several proposals
including increased background checks, mental health
evaluations, limits on ammunition, and additional safe storage
"While we cannot stop every senseless act of gun violence,
surely we can strengthen our laws to limit such tragedies in the
future," Yee said.
"These bills, as well as the ammunition bill authored by
Senator Kevin De Leon and the school safety bill by Senator Ted
Lieu, will help make our communities safer," he said.
California Treasurer Bill Lockyer, a Democrat, on Monday
asked CalPERS and CalSTRS, the state's public pension funds, to
account for their investments in gun manufacturers. He proposed
they divest interests in companies that make guns that are
illegal under a state assault weapons ban.
"The Treasurer's view is that neither fund should be
invested in any company that makes guns that are illegal in this
state, especially ones that were used to kill 20 innocent
children and six innocent adults," Lockyer spokesman Tom
CalSTRS, the California State Teachers' Retirement System,
said it was reviewing its investment with Cerberus in the wake
of the massacre in Newtown.
In Washington, U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat
from California, said she would introduce federal legislation
this week to outlaw the high-capacity magazines and
military-style assault rifles that have been used in many recent
shooting rampages, including the one in Newtown.
Police say 20-year-old Adam Lanza killed his mother, Nancy,
at her home on Friday before shooting his way into Sandy Hook
Elementary School and opening fire on students and teachers. He
shot himself to death in the school following the rampage,