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California Moves Forward On Gun-Control Legislation

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

California is one of the few states to move forward with gun control legislation after the Pulse nightclub massacre in Orlando. Capital Public Radio's Ben Adler reports from Sacramento on what gun rights groups are calling the gunpocalypse (ph).

BEN ADLER, BYLINE: These bills were in the works at the state capitol long before the Orlando nightclub shooting.

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BLAKE GRAHAM: This is a bullet button-style release.

ADLER: At a committee hearing back in March, California Department of Justice Special Agent Blake Graham demonstrated a bullet button, a tool that allows a gun owner to comply with the state's existing ban on detachable magazines.

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GRAHAM: It actually has a little stud that sticks out here and you would use the next magazine to have it fall out.

ADLER: But Orlando brought even more intensity. Two days after the shootings, Democratic state Senator Isadore Hall ripped into gun rights lobbyists.

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ISADORE HALL: They need to wash their mouths because they are filthy.

ADLER: That prompted one of the lobbyists to call those remarks beyond the pale.

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UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Senate Bill 880 by Senator Hall and others - an act relating to firearms.

ADLER: The debate in the Democratic-controlled legislature culminated yesterday with passions reaching new heights. Here's Republican Assemblyman Donald Wagner.

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DONALD WAGNER: We have assault weapons bans and we have waiting lists and we have gun-free zones and we do this and we do that and we do the other thing. And we keep finding ourselves surprised when bad guys do bad things with guns.

ADLER: And here's Democratic Senate Leader Kevin de Leon.

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KEVIN DE LEON: The killer sprayed that nightclub with bullets. How could anyone filled with so much hate have such easy access to ammunition?

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UNIDENTIFIED MAN: All members vote who desire to vote. All members vote who desire to vote.

ADLER: All 12 bills passed, from acquiring background checks on ammunition to limiting gun purchases to one per person per month. The legislature then rushed the bills down to Democratic Governor Jerry Brown's office. Today, he's expected to sign some and veto some, or, as Brown has often put it, paddle a little to the left and a little to the right. For NPR News, I'm Ben Adler in Sacramento. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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