California Attorney General Rob Bonta was quick to take a stand against a federal judge's decision to overturn the state's 32-year ban on assault weapons.
On Thursday, Gov. Gavin Newsom joined Bonta at a news conference in San Francisco, where Bonta announced he submitted an appeal to U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez's ruling on June 4.
What You Need To Know
- A California appeals court is ruling on upending the state's assault weapons ban
- Democratic lawmakers gathered at the state Capitol to show support for Attorney General Rob Bonta’s appeal
- Judge Roger Benitez's ruling came on Gun Violence Awareness Day
- California also will ask the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to extend the current 30-day stay of the ban
At the state Capitol, Democratic lawmakers gathered to support Bonta's appeal and promised to continue strengthening the state's gun laws.
"It's ridiculous," Assembly member Mike Gipson, D-Los Angeles, said in regards to Benitez's comparison of an AR-15 to a Swiss Army Knife.
For Gipson, the issue of gun violence is personal.
"My son and his fiancé were shot in a drive-by shooting where one individual was killed, and three, including my son, were shot," he said.
While Gipson is grateful his son survived the shooting, Benitez's ruling is a slap in the face to victims and survivors of gun violence, he said.
"It's absolutely ludicrous to me," he said. "We cannot have more guns, especially high-powered rifles on our street in our communities, because we know they destroy lives."
Clare Senchyna joined legislators and other gun control advocates at Thursday's news conference in Sacramento.
"We need to maintain our laws, strengthen them, close loopholes and be the leader for the rest of the country," said Senchyna, whose only son was killed in a San Francisco shooting.
Senchyna volunteers with the grassroots group Moms Demand Action and said the organization has helped her turn her pain into purpose after losing her son in 2014.
"He was out in our neighborhood in San Francisco celebrating the completion of paramedic school, the day before he had completed, and it was a stranger who fired his gun into a crowd of kids leaving the club," she said.
Benitez's ruling and false remarks that COVID-19 vaccines kill more people than mass shootings came on Gun Violence Awareness Day.
"This is inaccurate information," said Assembly member Buffy Wicks, D-Oakland. "We stand in solidarity with our attorney general, with our governor, with our Department of Justice to fight this."
As the Legislature's Gun Violence Prevention Working Group co-founder, Assembly member Jesse Gabriel, D-Encino, added that he would continue pushing for laws and policies to help keep Californians safe.
"We will not be deterred," Gabriel said. "The California Legislature remains unwavering in our commitment to passing common-sense gun safety measures."