Partisan gridlock is unlikely to derail the bill. Leno's fellow Democrats hold substantial majorities in both the State Senate and Assembly. California's governor is a Democrat as well.
The biggest opposition is likely to come from the wireless industry. The CTIA, a trade group for the phone industry, has been cool to mandate kill switches, instead promoting a nationwide database of stolen phones as a way to combat theft. (Law enforcement officials think the effectiveness of that database has its limits.) TechNet, a high-tech industry trade group, told the Los Angeles Times that it's guarded about a government-mandated solution.
Some smartphone makers have already taken matters into their own hands: iOS 7 introduced an Activation Lock feature to Apple's mobile devices and Samsung installed a Lojack feature on some of its phones, though you need to pay an annual fee to take advantage of that capability. Should it pass, California's proposed law figures to be a game-changer for smartphone and tablet owners — even those in other states.
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