Jackson Bill To Help Prevent Gun Violence in Wake of Isla Vista Tragedy Heads to the Governor

August 22, 2014

SACRAMENTO – A bill by State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara), introduced in the wake of the Isla Vista rampage, passed out of the Senate today on a unanimous, bipartisan vote and now heads to Governor Jerry Brown for approval. The vote was 32-0.

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.

“This bill would 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.

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 said. 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 Ventura County Board of Supervisors and others.

The Governor has until September 30 to take action on the bill.

Jackson represents the 19th Senate district, which includes all of Santa Barbara County and western Ventura County.