Today’s News: Gun control; ‘Fracking’ rules; Marine reserve

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Bullet barriers. Lawmakers are looking at ways to tighten California’s gun laws in the wake of the shootings in Newtown, Connecticut. Democratic state Senator Kevin de Leon says he’ll introduce a bill that would require anyone purchasing ammunition to get a $50 permit and pass a background check. A similar law, passed by the Legislature in 2009, has been challenged in court by the National Rifle Association. Earlier this week, State Senator Leland Yee proposed three new gun laws, including yearly background checks for gun ownership.  L.A. Times

Behind bars. A man accused of firing more than 50 rounds from a semiautomatic handgun outside the Fashion Island mall in Newport Beach has been denied bail. Marcos Gurrola was charged with firing a gun in public and two counts of assault because a mother and her 4-year-old daughter were allegedly knocked down and injured as they fled. Prosecutors have linked Gurrola to a similar shooting last year at the same mall. O.C. Register

Breaking ground. Environmentalists say new rules proposed by Governor Jerry Brown’s administration on hydraulic fracturing – or fracking – are too lenient. The rules would require oil companies for the first time to disclose where fracking is taking place and provide advance notice. The controversial oil extraction method involves injecting water and chemicals deep underground to break up rock formations that contain oil and natural gas. Environmental groups say the proposed regulations fall short because they don’t force oil companies in some cases to disclose which chemicals they’re using. Sacramento Bee

Parks problems. Secretly stashing away tens of millions of dollars apparently wasn’t the only management failing at the California parks department. A new audit by the State Controller shows widespread problems, including ignoring limits on employee pay and unauthorized vacation buybacks for some employees. Last summer, officials acknowledged that the parks department had a $54 million surplus at a time when they were cutting services and threatening to close parks. The disclosure led to the resignation of Parks Director Ruth Coleman. L.A. Times

Sharing blame. LAUSD must pay nearly $7 million to a 14-year-old boy who was molested by a teacher when he was he was a fifth grader. A Superior Court jury found the district was 30 percent responsible for total damages. The teacher – Forrest Stobbe – is currently serving a 16-year prison sentence. He was ordered to pay about $16 million but attorneys for the victim so they don’t expect to collect any of that money. The award comes as L.A. Unified faces up to 200 molestation and lewd conduct claims stemming from allegations of abuse by a teacher at Miramonte Elementary in South L.A. KNBC

Sea’s side. The largest network of undersea sanctuaries in the continental United States is now complete off the coast of California. The 848-square-mile reserve stretches from Oregon to the Mexican border. Advocates say it will allow stressed fish populations recover in state waters. The final piece of the reserve along a 137-mile stretch of the north coast will be added to the chain today. L.A. Times