Several local congressional representatives pledged to support President Barack Obama's call Wednesday for tougher gun laws, including background checks on all gun buyers and a renewed ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.
The package was the culmination of an effort to confront a spate of mass shootings and gun violence, a little more than a month after the Dec. 14 shooting deaths of 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.
Burbank Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff, a member of the Congressional Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, referred to a "scourge of gun violence" in a statement.
"The president articulated a reasonable set of proposals - both through executive order and congressional action - that will keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill, while respecting the right of law-abiding Americans to own a gun," said Schiff, a former federal prosecutor.
Schiff said he would introduce a bill to ensure that victims of gun violence have the same rights to hold gun makers and gun sellers accountable for negligence. He also plans to reintroduce legislation to "crack down on straw purchasers of guns who assist others in illegally obtaining weapons without background checks."
Other Democrats signaled that they intended to act quickly on gun control.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.
Feinstein authored the Federal Assault Weapons Ban of 1994 that expired in 2004.
Rep. Judy Chu, D-Pasadena, who serves on the House Judiciary Committee where gun control legislation is likely to face tough hearings in the Republican-controlled House, predicted a bill could be on the president's desk before year's end.
"I believe there would be very vigorous debate as of now, now that the president has announced his plan, but I think it will pick up more momentum after the State of the Union," Chu said in a telephone interview.
One of California's newest members of Congress, Rep. Alan Lowenthal, D-Long Beach, said in a statement that while the Constitution guarantees Americans a right to gun ownership, it isn't without limits.
"I believe - and the Supreme Court has concurred - that this guarantee does not include the right to purchase military-style assault weapons or high-capacity magazines," Lowenthal said.
"Recent events in Newtown, Aurora (Colo.), and Tucson (Ariz.) demonstrate that more must be done to protect the American people from such horrific acts of violence and I look forward to working with my colleagues to pass common sense changes to the way we license guns and restrict access to certain weapons that do not have legitimate sporting or self-defense uses."
South Bay Democratic Rep. Janice Hahn of San Pedro urged bipartisan support of what she referred to as "common-sense" reforms.
Hahn, a former Los Angeles city councilwoman, said gun violence is "all too familiar" to her communities.
"We've been to too many funerals. We've seen the endless, easy death that guns bring to our streets, our homes and our schools," Hahn said. "Congress needs to act, and I hope we move immediately on the president's proposals."
South Bay Democratic Rep. Henry Waxman praised Obama for directing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to research the causes of gun violence - something Congress barred in the 1990s.
The move, Waxman said in a statement, "removed the handcuffs" that pro-gun legislators had placed on the CDC.
"This is a crucial step forward for science and children's safety," said Waxman, calling for a "full-blown assault" on gun violence.
Among Republicans, Rep. Ed Royce of Fullerton supports the Second Amendment but also accepts background checks and gun safety devices, according to a Royce spokeswoman.
The statement from Royce's office didn't include his position on an assault weapons ban.
Although many Republicans tend to oppose gun control, Chu said there may now be enough public pressure to convince Republican lawmakers to vote with Democrats.
"I think it could be a tough fight," she said. "However, I do feel there is a lot of pressure from people around the nation who are concerned about the senseless violence."
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