Republicans say strict gun laws don’t work, not even California’s. They are not telling the full story

As gun reform talks escalated in the United States following the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, which killed 19 children and two adults, Texas Governor Greg Abbott returned to a topic put forward by many. in his party.
More rigorous and rigorous weapons reform will not repress gun violence. He used the cities of Los Angeles, New York and Chicago as an example – places believed to have some of the strictest laws.
“We have to realize that people who think that, well, maybe if we could just enforce stricter gun laws, they’ll fix it, Chicago, Los Angeles and New York will disprove this thesis,” Abbott said a day after the school shooting. Texas on May 25th
The next day, Texas Senator Ted Cruz also made the claim, walking away from a reporter who asked the Republican if a gun reform was needed in the wake of the Uvalde school shooting. “It doesn’t work,” said Mr. Cruz in the middle of the conversation.
However, these claims fail to tell the full story.

What does California have that others don’t?

In the United States, federal law provides the basis for firearms regulation, but it is states and cities that can tighten these restrictions further. California is perceived by many as the most severe state. The cities of Chicago and New York are also often clustered there.
Gun laws in the United States vary widely from state to state. Some have relatively strict licenses, while others, including Arizona and Nevada, allow “open transportation,” which means the firearm can be publicly visible.
California laws are the most comprehensive. All firearms sales must be made through a dealer, request a safety certificate and proof of residence, unless you are in the military.
Just like a car, all sales and transfers must be recorded. The California Department of Justice requires registration of serial numbers and parts identification details, including fingerprints.
There is also a ten-day waiting period for all purchases, transfers and private sales, with background checks required, even for private sales. There is also a so-called “red flag law”, which allows the police or a family member to request the seizure of weapons for one year for those who pose a threat to themselves or others.
It is also illegal to own, import, or purchase assault weapons in the state. Ongoing talks in Congress have ruled out the possibility of enforcing this at the federal level or adopting a broader “full” background check system for arms buyers.

A 10-year ban on certain semi-automatic rifles, pistols and shotguns, commonly called assault weapons, was signed into law by then President Bill Clinton in 1994 but expired and was not renewed under former President George W. Bush in 2004.


There are also some “free” areas in state weapons licensing laws. Although there is a safety certificate that expires and requires renewal, ongoing possession of a firearm does not require a license or permit.
New York and California are largely comparable.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul signed a package of 10 bills on Monday to strengthen state gun laws and protect people from gun violence by banning the sale of semi-automatic weapons to children under 21 and banning most sales. of armor for civilians.

The accounts follow a series of mass shootings,

The state of Illinois, where Chicago is located, has a death rate from shootings of 14.1 per 100,000, which still falls below the national average of 15.1 deaths per 100,000, according to 2020 data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP).


The state is unable to ban assault weapons, with the City of Chicago and Cook County enforcing their own possession ban separately.
While Republicans have used Illinois as an example of the “most stringent state on gun laws,” the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, which tracks gun laws nationwide, sees it differently.
The Center, which rated all states based on their gun laws, ranks California as the per capita state in first place, with Chicago in eighth place. New York is sixth.

The modern-day American weapons debate began in 1967 when 30 protesting members of the Black Panther Party marched into the California Capitol with loaded firearms. At the time, there were few restrictions on carrying publicly loaded weapons.

Two members of the Black Panther Party are met on the steps of the California Capitol in Sacramento, on May 2, 1967, by the police who tell them they can keep their guns as long as they don’t cause trouble and disturb the peace. Credit: Bettmann / Bettmann Archives

This soon changed with the Panthers’ efforts to “police the police” repressed by Republican Assemblyman Don Mulford who proposed legislation to ban the “open transport” of loaded firearms within California. It passed quickly.

In the years since, California’s progressive politicians have imposed restrictions.
In contrast, Mississippi has the worst gun death rate in the United States, with the CDCP saying the state records 28.6 deaths per 100,000 people.

No permit or registration required in the state, no assault weapons ban, no license required, no background checks for private sales, no “red flag” law, no permit required to openly carry a firearm, unlike in New York. California partially covers this.

Why do some people say California gun laws don’t work?

In California, it would be fair to say that a mass shooting occurs every eight days, according to the independent research group Gun Violence Archive, which defines a mass shooting as an attack that injures or kills four or more people.
But in the most populous state, with a population approaching 40 million, Californians are 25% less likely than the rest of the country to die in a mass shooting, according to the Public Policy Institute in California.
The state has the seventh lowest gun death rate in the country with a rate of 8.5 per 100,000 people. New York has a rate of 5.3 per 100,000.
CDCP data for 2020 says Texas has suffered 14.2 gun deaths per 100,000 people.
In terms of actual gun deaths in 2020, Texas (population 29 million) recorded 4,164, California (population 39), 3,449, Illinois (population 12.8 million), 1745 and New York (19.5 million inhabitants), 1052.

“I don’t believe anything that comes out of Governor Abbott’s mouth. California is one of the states with the best practices in the United States on gun control and it shows that the figures reflect that,” said Bruce Wolpe, a senior fellow from the United States. Study Center and former Democratic Political Officer.

A graph from the Giffords Law Center that tracks the correlation between gun regulation restrictions versus the death rate per 100,000 people.

Meanwhile, Mississippi, which has the worst death rate, ranks 45 out of 50 by gun law.

“The gun lobby and their personal beliefs have such a hold on what they say that it’s impossible to get responsible politics out of these men – and it’s actually a shame,” Wolpe said.
On June 2, the office of California governor Gavin Newsom released a statement claiming that California’s gun safety policies “save lives.”

“California’s national gun safety record offers a path for states seeking to curb gun violence,” it reads.

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