Political Round Up

VC legislators hard at work

By Shane Cohn 03/21/2013



Married women have more protections under current gun laws than those who are dating or single.


But new legislation authored by Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara/Ventura, seeks to rectify the inequality.


The Domestic Violence Survivors Protection Act (H.R. 1177) would extend federal firearms prohibitions on individuals subject to a domestic violence restraining order for dating partners. Currently, the law makes a distinction between protections from an abusive spouse and protections from an abusive dating partner.


Capps’ legislation would extend the Lautenberg Amendment to dating partners, which would prohibit an individual convicted of a domestic violence misdemeanor from purchasing a gun.


Intimate partner homicides account for nearly half of the women killed every year, according to federal statistics. More than half of these women are killed with firearms.


“This bill would provide greater security for domestic violence survivors by protecting them during the time when they are most at risk, in the minutes, hours and days immediately after leaving a violent partner,” said Capps, in a media release. “An abusive ex-boyfriend with a gun is no less lethal than an abusive ex-husband with a gun. It is time for federal law to join 18 states in recognizing that reality by passing the Domestic Violence Survivors Protection Act.”


California has one of the stricter gun laws concerning spousal protection, requiring that anyone served with a temporary protective order within 24 hours to turn over any weapons to local law enforcement or sell them to licensed gun dealers.


Assemblyman Jeff Gorell, R-Camarillo, will be co-hosting a symposium in Thousand Oaks, March 26-28, which will focus on the civilian use of UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles). The symposium is hosted by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and is being sponsored by numerous industry leaders.


Gorell recently co-authored two bills on the growing UAV industry. Assembly Bill 1326 is designed to attract drone manufacturing to California by exempting drone makers from having to pay state sales and use taxes, among other exemptions and tax credits. The other bill, Assembly Bill 1327, is designed to protect the privacy rights of Californians.


The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recently released a request for a proposal allowing regions to compete for selection as one of six future national UAV testing and integration sites. The FAA has estimated that the UAV industry could generate nearly $90 billion in worldwide economic activity in the next decade, and Gorell has been emphasizing the importance for California, and specifically Ventura County, to be at the forefront of this growing industry.


“As a state, we must unify and marshal all resources to compete and ensure that California is a successful applicant or we will lose an opportunity to create jobs and spur innovation,” stated Gorell.


Rep. Julia Brownley, D-Oak Park, has been busy during her first few months in office working on legislation concerning veterans. Last week Brownley announced a bipartisan resolution that demands help for veterans as they transition back to civilian life and seek employment when they complete their service.


“The fact that so many of our veterans are unemployed is unacceptable,” said Brownley.  “It is up to Congress to honor the sacrifice of our service members and their families by making it easier for businesses to hire veterans who acquired high-level technical and leadership skills while serving our country.”


The resolution states that the Department of Defense should work with state governments and industry to provide transferable credentials and licenses to veterans for skills they developed while on active duty.


This resolution comes on the heels of Brownley’s first bill in Congress, which seeks to secure adequate funding for veterans’ health care programs.  

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