LA Times: New gun control bills introduced in response to Isla Vista Massacre

June 11, 2014

Law enforcement officers investigating allegations that a person may be a danger to himself or others would be required to first check a state database to determine whether the person owns firearms under legislation introduced Wednesday in response to the Isla Vista rampage.

State Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) authored the bill and another that would make available $5 million in grants to local policing agencies so they can more swiftly confiscate firearms from people prohibited from owning weapons because of mental health or criminal issues.

“Both of these bills are about making better use of the tools and the laws at hand to help prevent gun violence,” Jackson said in a statement.

Santa Barbara County sheriff's deputies interacted with Elliot Rodger three times in the months before he killed six people in Isla Vista on May 23, including a welfare check conducted after Rodger’s mother and a friend raised concerns about whether he was a danger.

Deputies did not check the state Department of Justice’s Automated Firearms System, the database of gun purchases, before the rampage. The database can be checked from computers in law enforcement vehicles or by phone in as little as 90 seconds, said Jackson, the author of SB 505. Rodger had legally purchased three guns, proof of which would have been available in the database.

“We will never know for sure if the outcome in Isla Vista might have been different with a gun database search,” Jackson said. “But the next time California experiences a similar tragedy, we shouldn’t be left wondering.”