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California governor signs bill raising age limit for purchase of long guns from 18 to 21

USA TODAY logo USA TODAY 9/29/2018 Doug Stanglin

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California Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a series of gun control bills into law, including one that raises the minimum age from 18 to 21 for buying rifles and shotguns.

The new law, which takes effect Jan. 1, exempts law enforcement, members of the military and people with hunting licenses from the restriction. State law already bans people under 21 from buying handguns.

Among the bills signed Friday by the Democratic governor is one imposing a lifetime ban on purchase of firearms by people convicted of serious domestic violence charges, or with serious mental health problems.

Another will require Californians to undergo at least eight hours of training, including live fire exercises, before carrying concealed weapons. 

Brown vetoed one measure that would have limited an individual's purchase to one rifle or shotgun in any 30-day period.

State Sen. Anthony Portantino, a Democrat, who authored the law on raising the age limit for purchases of long guns, said he was motivated by the killing of 17 students and school employees at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, in February. A 19-year-old former student at the school is accused of using a semiautomatic rifle in the rampage.

"I was determined to help California respond appropriately to the tragic events our country has recently faced on high school campuses,” Portantino said in a statement. “No parent should have to worry that a gun gets in the wrong hands and commits a heinous and violent tragedy on our school campuses.”

In March, Rick Scott, the Republican governor of Florida, signed a bill raising the minimum age for buying long guns in that state from 18 to 21.

a group of people standing in a kitchen: In this Dec. 9, 2015, file photo, sales associate Mike Conway, right, shows Paul Angulo a pistol at Bullseye Sport gun shop in Riverside, Calif. Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a new law requiring that Californians undergo at least eight hours of training, including live fire exercises, before carrying concealed weapons. © Jae C. Hong.AP In this Dec. 9, 2015, file photo, sales associate Mike Conway, right, shows Paul Angulo a pistol at Bullseye Sport gun shop in Riverside, Calif. Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a new law requiring that Californians undergo at least eight hours of training, including live fire exercises, before carrying concealed weapons. The National Rifle Association immediately challenged the move in a federal lawsuit against Florida, saying the age-minimum section of the law violates the second and 14th amendments of the U.S. Constitution.

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