'How much louder must we yell?': Attorney General Becerra talks gun control after Gilroy Garlic Festival shooting

Lyanne Melendez Image
Tuesday, July 30, 2019
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Police say the weapon used in the Gilroy shooting could not be sold or transported into California. It was purchased in Nevada, a state with few gun control laws.

GILROY, Calif. (KGO) -- California has the most proactive gun control laws in the country. The weapon, police say, that was used in the Gilroy shooting could not be sold or transported into California.

It was purchased in Nevada, a state with few gun control laws. So once again, this shooting fell through the cracks.

"We cannot enforce California laws in Nevada," said Attorney General Xavier Becerra reaffirming that California is defenseless despite the state's strict gun control laws.

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"These are weapons of war, weapons of mass destruction," added Governor Gavin Newsom, who has championed a law that requires a background check for anyone buying ammunition, a measure that voters passed in 2016 and only recently went into effect.

Yet some people think they can bypass that by ordering ammunition online, except that a person cannot have their order shipped to an address in California. People cannot drive ammunition into the state which was purchased in another state.

It's also illegal to import, sell, give, trade or lend a magazine that holds more than 10 rounds of ammunition.

Last March, however, a U.S. District Judge overturned it says with regard to "a few madmen with guns and ammunition, California's law turns millions of responsible, law-abiding people trying to protect themselves into criminals."

But Becerra was able to secure a stay.

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Despite those measures and the fact that assault rifles cannot be sold or imported into California, the suspected gunman brought one into the state.

Nelson Lum is a former SFPD officer in charge of active shooter training. He says the AK 47 type assault rifle used in the Gilroy shooting is easy to shoot.

"It's really easy because it's designed so that it absorbs most of the recoil, so the weapon doesn't jump as much as others do with such a high caliber," explained Lum.

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Still, despite this shooting, California's tougher gun control laws have been instrumental in lowering the gun-death rate, from 5,500 in 1993 to 2,935 in 2010 that's a decline of 56 percent. The latest California Department of Justice stats show that in 2016 there were 1,368 gun-deaths in California.

"If there is ever a time for a scream four our national leaders to do something, how much louder must we yell?" expressed Becerra.

Get the latest on the deadly Gilroy Garlic Festival shooting here.