Governor Signs Jackson Bill To Help Prevent Gun Violence in Wake of Isla Vista Tragedy

September 30, 2014

SACRAMENTO – Governor Jerry Brown has just signed a bill by State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) introduced in the wake of the Isla Vista rampage this past May.

Senate Bill 505 requires that local law enforcement agencies develop policies encouraging officers to conduct a search of the Department of Justice’s Automated Firearms System, California’s database of gun purchases, prior to conducting a “welfare check” on a person who is potentially a danger to themselves or others.

“As a result of the action the Governor has taken today, we are able to say that the rampage in Isla Vista produced not just terrible tragedy but also positive changes for our state and our community. This bill will help ensure that law enforcement agencies are using all the tools available to them to gather potentially life-saving information for themselves and others,” Jackson said. “I’m very pleased that the Governor has signed it into law.”

On April 30, roughly three weeks prior to a rampage that took the lives of six innocent people, law enforcement visited Elliott Rodger to check on his well-being.

Although law enforcement may not have had the legal authority to seize Elliott Rodger’s three guns had they known about them, a gun database search could have provided additional information that might have helped them better assess the danger that Rodger posed to himself and others, Jackson observed. Law enforcement could potentially have asked Rodger what he intended to do with the guns, asked to see the guns, or asked him to voluntarily surrender the guns.

“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. Searches of the gun database can be done in as little as 90 seconds, and those 90 seconds can help save lives.”

The bill has the support of the California Police Chiefs Association, the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors, the Ventura County Board of Supervisors and others.

The bill takes effect on January 1.
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Contact: Lisa Gardiner (916) 651-4019 or lisa.gardiner@sen.ca.gov