California Senate Democrats have introduced a new package of bills aimed at gun violence called the LIFE Act, which intends to "close several loopholes in existing regulations, to keep firearms and ammunition out of the wrong hands, and to strengthen education on gun ownership." Though California Senators cannot officially name their bills with such evocative monikers, they have chosen to publicly push the measures as the LIFE Act, presumably with the hopes that the measures will gather more attention and support and therefore lead to enactment. The LIFE Act package includes SB 47, SB 108, and SB 140, the latter of which has already passed the Senate. The press release by Senate Democrats for the bundle of legislative measures is below the jump.
Additionally, at this point we do not know what the LIFE acronym stands for, if anything. When we find out, we'll be sure to update the post.
Californians Unite Behind LIFE Act
Senate Democrats push legislation to reduce gun violence
SACRAMENTO – Today, California Senate Democrats announced a coalition of supporters for the LIFE Act, a bill package to close several loopholes in existing regulations, to keep firearms and ammunition out of the wrong hands, and to strengthen education on gun ownership.
Senator Leland Yee’s (D-San Francisco/San Mateo) SB 47 is one of the eight bills that make up the LIFE Act, which would close a loophole in the California Assault Weapons Ban. Currently, many military-style assault weapons have a feature known as a “bullet button,” which allow a shooter to continuously fire and reload without interruption.
Yee is also carrying SB 108, which would require firearms be safely stored using a trigger lock or gun safe while no adult is on the property where the weapon is located.
“The prevalence of deadly, military-style weapons in our society has resulted in countless tragedies,” said Yee. “It is past time to put some common sense laws into place in order to prevent such tragedies in the future. The LIFE Act is a bold step forward in this effort.”
The Coalition behind the LIFE Act is made up of teachers, medical professionals, faith-based advocates, grassroots organizing and experts in gun violence. Members include the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE), Bend the Arc: A Jewish Alliance for Justice, Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, California Church Impact, California Federation of Teachers, Clergy and Laity for Economic Justice, CA (CLUE CA), the Courage Campaign, CREDO Action, Doctors for America, the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, and PICO.
“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 in gun safety. As Washington continues to dither, California must act."
Rick Jacobs, Chair and Founder, CourageCampaign.org
"We are concerned with protecting students, educators and all who work or volunteer in our schools. We’ve witnessed the harm at Newtown, Columbine, Virginia Tech and other educational institutions. The California Federation of Teachers is interested in putting many layers of protection between students and those who might harm them. We are proud to join this remarkable coalition of progressive groups. Our history of working together on the Millionaires Tax and Proposition 30 speaks for itself. "
Jeff Freitas, Secretary-Treasurer, CFT
"Over the past two decades, California has enacted the strongest gun laws in the country and our firearm mortality rate has dropped 51%. Still there are approximately 6,000 people shot each year in California and nearly half of them die. We believe these LIFE Act bills represent a comprehensive approach that will close loopholes and keep dangerous weapons out of the hands of dangerous people. The LIFE Act will help save even more lives."
Amanda Wilcox, Legislation & Policy Chair, California Brady Campaign
"It is an honor for CLUE CA to partner with the Courage Campaign in a joint effort to prevent gun violence. What will it take for the legislature to demonstrate courageous leadership and act to protect the citizens of our beloved state? We have witnessed gun violence for too long. Earlier this year just weeks after the Sandy Hook massacre in Connecticut, a lone gun began shooting students at Taft High School in the Central Valley critically wounding one boy and threatening others. Two students were killed and 13 others were wounded in Santana High School in San Diego in 2001. In 1989 inside a Stockton elementary school yard, five little children were shot to death, 29 others were injured, and a teacher was killed. 21 people were shot and killed, including five children and 19 other people were wounded in 1989 at a McDonald's restaurant in San Ysidro. San Francisco City Hall was the site of double murder in 1978 when Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk were gunned down in their offices. The long list of gun violence reveals a harrowing epic of unabated mayhem. All of it preventable. Now is the time to stop the senseless, legal access to assault weapons. For the sake of humankind, let California lead the way toward a safer, more sane society."
Rev. Art Cribbs, Executive Director, CLUE CA (Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice, California)