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California lawmakers call for stricter gun control after Monterey Park shooting

Governor Gavin Newsom called on the federal government to do more Monday afternoon.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Lawmakers are calling for stricter gun control in the wake of a mass shooting in Monterey Park.

The California Asian American and Pacific Islander Caucus held a vigil on the steps of the Capitol in honor of the people lost in Monterey Park. The Chair of the caucus said people should expect a lot more action from them moving forward to address gun violence. 

While new legislation wasn't announced during the vigil, one member of the caucus said he would like to see more done with background checks, such as taking tests and doing more to enforce red flag laws.

“The fact of the matter is that this issue is about the senseless attacks on communities with respect to firearms,” said Assemblyman Evan Low, chair of the AAPI caucus.

He said no community is immune from the pain, but the situation cannot become the norm.

"This is systemic only to American society and culture, and we must stand out against this," said Low.

Monday's vigil at the Capitol became a call to action. Low said the government needs to be held accountable and keep communities safe.

While California leads the nation on gun legislation, Attorney General Rob Bonta said that doesn't make the state immune to gun violence. 

“No single act... can stop all gun violence. There's a series of many actions and initiatives and policies and laws that can help reduce it,” said Bonta. 

When the state does try to pass more gun control measures, there's often fought back in court.

“We've been in an ongoing fight with those who resist and push back and undermine the common sense gun laws that save lives. And that's happening now in our courts," said Bonta.

California passed a law that would allow people to sue anyone who manufactures, distributes or sells illegal weapons in California. However, that bill is in court.

Last summer, the Supreme Court invalidated one of California's concealed carry requirements. The state's ban on high capacity magazines bought by adults under 21 was overturned by conservative judges.

Governor Gavin Newsom called on the federal government to do more Monday afternoon.

“The challenge is the laws that they consider passing only affect one group of people, and those are law abiding citizens,” said Craig Deluz, spokesperson for the California Assembly Republicans.

“They use this as an opportunity to promote that legislation. I think that level of sensationalism is despicable. I think it's horrifying," he added. "If they really wanted to do something to help people, they would put them in a position to be able to defend themselves, not make them defenseless victims”

Lawmakers have already introduced a handful of new gun control bills in the last few weeks before the latest shooting. They include one that would put a higher tax on the purchase of guns or ammunition to fund prevention programs. Another bill would ban the general public from purchasing bullet proof vests.


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