News / USA

California Leads US in Restrictive Gun Laws

California Leads US in Restrictive Gun Lawsi
|| 0:00:00
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 25, 2012
California has some of the strictest gun control laws in the United States, and some Americans see the state as a model for future national laws. But others worry about the erosion of the right to bear arms as stated in the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. In the wake of last week's mass shootings in Colorado, VOA's Mike O'Sullivan in Los Angeles looks at the debate over gun control and gun ownership rights.

California Leads US in Restrictive Gun Laws

TEXT SIZE - +
Mike O'Sullivan
LOS ANGELES – California has some of the strictest gun control laws in the United States, which some Americans see as a model for future national laws.  But others worry about the erosion of the right to bear arms as stated in the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. 

There are few restrictions on owning guns in most U.S. states.  Guns are widely used for hunting and sport, and for self-protection.

California and several other states, including New York and Massachusetts, limit the sale of some firearms, ammunition and accessories.  California bans the sale of high-capacity ammunition clips and military-style assault rifles to the public.  Buyers of other guns must wait 10 days while state and federal authorities investigate the purchaser for a possible criminal record or history of serious mental illness.  California registers handguns, and beginning in 2014, will also keep records on rifles and shotguns sold in the state.

Los Angeles Police Detective Richard Tompkins says neighboring states are less strict.

“People do leave the state and buy those weapons out of state and then bring them back into our state.  Some people will do it just to possess them.  Some people will do it to sell on the open market in the state of California,” Tompkins said.

The sale of guns and ammunition over the Internet is unrestricted in some places.  In California, firearms must be sold through a licensed dealer.  But with inconsistent laws from state to state, and even county to county, there are gaps in enforcement, says Daniel Vice of the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence.

“As we saw in the Colorado shooting, you can buy thousands of rounds of ammunition online," Vice said. "You can buy full suits of body armor online.  You can even go online to find private gun sellers who will sell you assault weapons no questions asked -- no background check, no record of sale.  Why do we allow that to happen in America today?”

 Former U.S. Army Ranger and gun collector Frank Sharp says most American gun users are law-abiding citizens who are exercising a basic right. He says he was shocked at the recent carnage in a Colorado movie theater.

“There's hardly any way to describe how terrible that incident is," Sharp said. "But I don't think that turning people like me into criminals prevents it.  I think that had someone been in that theater lawfully carrying a firearm, there might have been a completely different outcome.”

 Los Angeles Detective Richard Tompkins says inconsistent laws cause problems for law enforcement.

“It's hard with the different laws at state level and very few laws on the federal side,” he said.

For some, the federal government's reluctance to pass gun control legislation is the right approach.  They say that restricting the rights of gun owners will not address the problem of violent crime.  Others say that placing more limits on gun sales can reduce the violence, and that we are overdue for a national conversation on the issue.

You May Like

Analysts Warn of Regional Proxy Conflict in Afghanistan

Analysts warn if Kabul’s neighbors do not start to cooperate, competing desires for influence could deteriorate into a bloody proxy war in the country More

Saudi Intelligence Chief Replaced

Bandar bin Sultan came under criticism for supporting al Qaida, prompting King Abdallah to wrest Syria operations away from him in February, handing them to Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef More

Poetry Magazine editor Don Share talks what makes a good poem with VOA's David Byrd

What makes a good poem? And is poetry as viable an art form as it once was? To find out, VOA's David Byrd spoke to Don Share, the editor of Poetry Magazine. More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid