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California lawmakers grapple with how to stop mass shootings after dozens die in 2 weekend attacks

Posted at 9:40 PM, Aug 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-06 12:13:23-04

The weekend mass shootings in Dayton, OH and El Paso, TX are prompting some Democratic lawmakers in California to call for stricter nationwide gun laws, including expanded background checks for ammunition purchases.

Pres. Donald Trump addressed the country Monday morning in a message that condemned racism and white supremacy.

"We are outraged and sickened by this monstrous evil," Trump said. "In one voice our nation must condemn racism, bigotry and white supremacy. These sinister ideologies must be defeated. Hate has no place in America."

That sentiment was echoed by California Gov. Gavin Newsom, who also held a press conference Monday afternoon.

"The issue of white supremacy, the issue of what is occurring here in the State of California, the issue of domestic terrorism, the issue that has brought so much focus and attention in our national debate discourse, that's real, even here in California," Newsom said.

But in a stream of tweets, U.S. House Rep. Salud Carbajal (D-CA) criticized the president's earlier statements blaming video games and mental health for the violence.

"The president was wrong about so many of the causes and responses to mass shootings, but he got one thing right - we must pass extreme risk laws to make sure that people who shouldn't have guns don't get them," Carbajal tweeted.

Carbajal co-authored a bill introduced in February called the Extreme Risk Protection Order Act. It would allow family or law enforcement to petition a judge to remove firearms from a person in crisis.

"California has always been a leader in gun violence prevention, and we need more of that leadership at the national level," Carbajal wrote to KSBY in a statement Monday. "That's why I introduced my bipartisan Extreme Risk Protection Order Act to keep guns out of the hands of those who pose a threat to themselves or others, and it's why I agree with Governor Newsom that we should pursue ammunition background checks, increased study of the causes of gun violence and more stringent efforts to stop the gun violence epidemic our nation faces. I stand ready to work with the governor to keep our state and communities safe."

Newsom called for nationwide background checks for ammunition purchases, like the law that took effect in CA in July. In his morning address, Trump floated the idea of a red flag fun law like the one proposed by Carbajal.

During his conference, Newsom pushed for expanding an existing task force to increase safety at schools and large public events.

Newsom called out Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-AL) for not supporting stricter gun laws in the past.

"Why don't you put it up to vote," Newsom said. "Put it on the Senate floor. Just have the guts to do it. He's weak. A weak leader."

Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham (R-San Luis Obispo) was not available Monday for comment on the issue.