California tightens handgun restrictions
SACRAMENTO, California, July 19 (Reuters) - California has banned the sale of single-shot handguns that can be altered into semi-automatic weapons, handing a modest victory to proponents of tougher gun laws while striving to protect antique collectors.
The new rules ere signed into law on Friday by Governor Jerry Brown.
California already has some of the strictest gun control laws in the United States. But proponents fought to amend the state's so-called safe handgun requirements, arguing that it exempted for single-shot pistols which meant dealers were selling thousands of modified weapons per year without a required safety feature that indicates when a bullet is chambered.
"This is a significant step to protect the integrity of the safe handgun law in California," assemblyman Roger Dickinson, a Democrat who authored the bill, told Reuters. "This exception has been increasingly used by those who wish to circumvent (the law)."
The bill comes amid a protracted national debate over the extent of gun restrictions after a series of deadly rampages in schools, movie theaters, and other public places.
The legislation drew swift criticism from the National Rifle Association (NRA) and theCalifornia Association of Federal Firearms Licensees (CAL-FFL), groups that say such laws trample constitutional rights.
"Sadly, the status quo for elitist Sacramento politicians is to ignore the Constitution and act with blatant hostility towards our Second Amendment civil rights and sound public policy," said Brandon Combs, president of the CAL-FFL.