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Steinberg: Focus on Gun Control, Mental Health, 'Culture of Violence'

Dec 20, 2012

The California legislature’s response to last Friday’s school shooting in Connecticut is beginning to take shape.  As Ben Adler reports from Sacramento, a top lawmaker is calling for action in several different areas – including gun control.

Democratic Senate Leader Darrell Steinberg is endorsing legislation that would close a loophole dealing with large ammunition clips on assault weapons, and a measure that would require annual permits to buy ammunition.

“Distinguish between the hunters and sportsmen and -women, the people who use guns for recreational purposes; and these assault weapons, rapid fire weapons that have no place on the street and that have no place when it comes to sport or recreation.”

But Steinberg also says he’ll focus on school safety plans; what he calls the “culture of violence;” and especially, increasing mental health services.  He says California’s extra billion-dollars-a-year in mental health funding from voter-approved Proposition 63 has been more than offset by losses to the recession and state budget cuts.