Senate Joint ResolutionNo. 1

Introduced by Senators Wolk, Corbett, DeSaulnier, Hancock, Hill, Leno, and Yee

(Coauthors: Senators Beall, Block, Calderon, De León, Evans, Jackson, Lara, Lieu, Liu, Monning, Padilla, Pavley, Price, and Steinberg)

January 18, 2013

Senate Joint Resolution No. 1—Relative to firearms.


SJR 1, as introduced, Wolk. Firearms control.

This measure would urge the President and the Congress of the United States to develop a comprehensive federal approach to reducing and preventing gun violence, promptly place assault weapons and high-capacity assault magazines under the scope of the National Firearms Act, and require a universal background check through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) for the transfer of all firearms. This measure would additionally urge the President to take steps to ensure all states and applicable federal agencies are reporting all necessary records to the NICS.

Fiscal committee: no.

P1    1WHEREAS, The Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting
2in Newtown, Connecticut, which resulted in the death of 20
3children and 6 adults, demonstrated the need for stronger laws to
4prevent gun violence; and

5WHEREAS, Numerous factors contribute to the occurrence of
6mass shootings, including unregulated access to assault weapons
7and assault magazines, insufficient background checks, and needed
8improvements to our mental health system, among others; and

P2    1WHEREAS, Semiautomatic assault weapons designed with
2military features allow for the rapid fire of potentially large
3numbers of bullets, and are distinguishable from standard sporting
4firearms by features such as the ability to accept a detachable
5magazine, pistol grips, and folding or telescoping stocks; and

6WHEREAS, Semiautomatic assault weapons are frequently
7used in mass shootings, including the 1993 101 California Street
8shooting in San Francisco that involved two TEC-9 semiautomatic
9handguns, and the recent Aurora, Colorado, shooting that involved
10an AR-15 style semiautomatic assault rifle with a 100-round
11ammunition drum; and

12WHEREAS, The United States Supreme Court has affirmed
13once and for all that Americans have a right to keep and bear arms.
14However, as conservative justice Antonin Scalia outlined, the
15District of Columbia v. Heller decision does not prohibit laws
16forbidding firearms in places such as schools or regulation of
17unusually dangerous weapons, nor does it restrict laws prohibiting
18felons and the mentally ill from carrying guns; and

19WHEREAS, The National Firearms Act of 1934 regulates the
20possession and transfer of fully automatic machine guns through
21background checks, registration, and excise taxes, but individual
22states are able to enact their own stronger gun legislation and
23regulations which may or may not be similar to other states; and

24WHEREAS, Seven states, including California, have enacted
25laws strictly regulating the possession, manufacture, and transfer
26of assault weapons; and

27WHEREAS, Because our borders are porous and only a small
28number of states regulate assault weapons and high-capacity assault
29magazines, states, like California, that take steps to protect their
30communities from these weapons are vulnerable to criminals who
31use those weapons without a comprehensive federal approach to
32curb gun violence; and

33WHEREAS, It is estimated that 40 percent of firearm transfers
34are completed without a federal background check, including the
35transfer of semiautomatic firearms from a private collection; and

36WHEREAS, California requires background checks for all
37firearms sales and transfers through various means; and

38WHEREAS, Nine categories of individuals are prohibited from
39purchasing and possessing firearms, including the dangerously
40mentally ill; and

P3    1WHEREAS, Mental health records are reported by the state and
2imported into the National Instant Criminal Background Check
3System, but currently many state and federal agencies are not fully
4participating in this system; now, therefore, be it

5Resolved by the Senate and the Assembly of the State of
6California, jointly,
That a comprehensive federal approach to
7reducing and preventing gun violence is needed to protect the
8Second Amendment rights of law abiding citizens while ensuring
9that our communities are safe from future mass shootings; and be
10it further

11Resolved, That the Legislature urges the President and the
12Congress of the United States to promptly place under the scope
13of the National Firearms Act generically defined assault weapons,
14as now is the case with California, and high-capacity assault
15magazines; and be it further

16Resolved, That a universal background check through the
17National Instant Criminal Background Check System should be
18required for the transfer of all firearms; and be it further

19Resolved, That the President of the United States should take
20steps to ensure all states and applicable federal agencies are
21reporting all necessary records to the National Instant Criminal
22Background Check System; and be it further

23Resolved, That the Secretary of the Senate transmit copies of
24this resolution to the President and Vice President of the United
25States, to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, to the
26Majority Leader of the Senate, to each Senator and Representative
27from California in the Congress of the United States, and to the
28author for appropriate distribution.


Text--Page 2.


Corrected 1-28-13—See last page.     99