California legislators have acted repeatedly to give the state what are considered the nation's strictest gun laws. The Sacramento Bee asks,” how was it that guns obtained here legally came to be used in the worst terror attack on domestic soil since Sept. 11?” The massacre, carried out by a married couple and branded an “act of terrorism” by President Obama, is forcing state officials to once again confront questions about how, for all its firm statutes, assault-style rifles have been able to proliferate. California has “done some heroic things on gun safety in the past,” Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom said. “But the bar is not as high as it should be.”
The state came has baned three major categoreis of assault weapons: those specified by name such as the Colt AR-15; the AK and AR-15 series; and semi-automatic rifles with the capacity to accept a detachable magazine and features such as a pistol grip or telescoping stock. Also banned are semi-automatic rifles with fixed magazines in excess of 10 rounds and semi-automatic, center-fire rifles with overall lengths of less than 30 inches. There remains a loophole, allowing people to modify their guns to make them even more powerful. Officials have said that one of the .223-caliber semi-automatic rifles was altered to function like an automatic weapon, while the other was changed to accommodate a high-capacity, 30-round magazine prohibited in California. Newsom is proposing a gun-control measure for next year's ballot and said now is not the time to hold back in passing more “common sense” measures.