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Kalif - New Handgun laws require a thumbprint and safety tests

rick_renorick_reno Member Posts: 204 ✭✭✭ SACRAMENTO (AP) --California handgun buyers face what gun control advocates call the nation's toughest registration check when a bill signed by Gov. Gray Davis goes into effect Jan. 1, 2003. Davis signed legislation requiring prospective handgun buyers to provide thumbprints to law enforcement agencies and prove they can safely handle a gun. Another bill signed by the governor will fund an existing state program to identify registered and criminal handgun owners no longer allowed to own guns. Police estimate there are 170,000 such illegal gun owners in California. "We know that thousands of gun owners have become criminals since purchasing their firearms and this law will help police catch them and get their guns off the street," said Luis Tolley, legislative director for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. The bill, sponsored by Attorney General Bill Lockyer, passed both houses of the Legislature unanimously. It had no opposition and goes into effect July 2002. Meanwhile, thousands of prospective California handgun buyers face new tests to prove they can handle a gun safely. Gun control groups, including the Brady Campaign and Campaign to Stop Gun Violence, call it the nation's toughest test to buy a handgun. But the National Rifle Association and California Rifle and Pistol Association say the new law is mostly an incremental tightening of rules. "It's sort of this game they like to play, pretending they did something," said Ed Worley, spokesman for the National Rifle Association. The signing strayed from Davis' past gun law policies. He has said he opposes new gun laws, saying a study was needed to gauge the effectiveness of existing laws. The governor's office Monday had no comment on his gun-related actions.
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