Friday, August 30, 2013

Skinner’s Gun Bills Escape The Suspence File

LEGISLATURE | A slate of Assembly bills heard in the State Senate Appropriations Committee Friday stood the chance of hearing Boyz II Men’s “End of the Road” upon banishment to the suspense file.However, two controversial gun control bills offered by Berkeley Assemblymember Nancy Skinner cleared the committee, along with legislation by Oakland Assemblymember Rob Bonta that would combat the spread of sexually-transmitted diseases in state prisons with the distribution of condoms.

A majority of the outstanding bills from Assemblymembers Skinner, Bonta, Bill Quirk and Bob Wieckowski lived to see another day before the end of the current legislative session on Sept. 13. Bills approved today move for debate on the Senate floor.

Skinner’s AB 48, which prohibits the purchase of high-capacity magazines and requiring reporting of ammunition sales to the U.S. Department of Justice, was given the green light by the committee. Another firearms related bill authored by Skinner that cleared the committee Friday, AB 1131, increases the wait time to five years for possessing a gun for those who communicate to a licensed psychotherapist intent to harm another. Current law marks the prohibition at just six months.

Bonta’s bill, AB 999, caused some opposition for technically allowing inmates to break the law by having sexual relations while incarcerated. The bill sets up a pilot program for distributing condoms to state prisoners. The rationale behind the legislation, however, is to limit the spread of sexually-transmitted diseases, like AIDS, while incarcerated.

A bill by Fremont Assemblyman Bob Wieckowski to allot $1 million from the general fund for spinal cord injury research also cleared the committee. The expenditures would fund the Roman Reed Spinal Cord Research Act at the University of California approved last year. Reed was a former Chabot College football player who was paralyzed during a game in 1994.


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