SACRAMENTO — A proposal that would have banned ammunition magazines that hold more than 10 bullets failed Thursday in the state Legislature.
SB396 by Democratic Sen. Loni Hancock of Berkeley was placed in the inactive file, a day after it failed to gain enough votes to pass the Assembly.
State law already prohibits the sale, gift and loan of large-capacity magazines that hold more than 10 rounds. Hancock’s bill would have forced gun owners who already had such magazines to dispose of them by July 2014.
During the floor debate on Wednesday, Republican Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez of Lake Elsinore spoke against the bill, saying it would take away opportunities for mothers such as herself to protect their families.
“Not everyone who owns a weapon or a magazine that can hold more than 10 rounds is a mass murderer or a criminal,” she said.
The legislation is among a slate of bills pushed by Democratic lawmakers this year to tighten gun and ammunition laws in the wake of the mass shootings last year in Newton, Conn., and Aurora, Colo.
Among them are bills that would expand the list of people who are prohibited from owning firearms, require permits and a fee when buying ammunition, and ban semi-automatic rifles with detachable ammunition magazines.
Several have passed both houses and are on the way for Gov. Jerry Brown to consider, but not all the firearms legislation introduced this year survived.
California already had some of the nation’s toughest gun and ammunition laws, but Democratic lawmakers sought to strengthen them further after the twin 2012 tragedies.
At Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut, 20 first-graders and six educators were shot to death last December.
Part of the Democrats’ intent was to make it harder for people to obtain weapons that could fire multiple rounds of ammunition in rapid succession.
It was not immediately clear why SB396 could not muster a sufficient number of votes in the Assembly, but the move to shelve the legislation came the same week that two Democratic state lawmakers in Colorado were recalled by voters after supporting gun control legislation.
Associated Press writer Laura Olson contributed to this report.