SACRAMENTO (AP) — California lawmakers on Friday acted on bills that tackle firearm safety and add rules for ammunition sales.
The Senate unanimously passed SB505 by Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, D-Santa Barbara. It would require officers to search the state’s database of gun purchases when checking on whether someone may be a danger to themselves or others.
Jackson said searching the gun database could help prevent tragedies such as the May shooting rampage near the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her bill now goes to the governor.
“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 in a statement.
Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office deputies were criticized for not searching Elliot Rodger’s apartment during a welfare check in April after his parents became concerned about his postings on YouTube. The 22-year-old community college student killed six university students and himself in Isla Vista weeks later.
A database search could have helped them better assess the danger Rodger posed to himself and others, Jackson said.
Separately, the Assembly approved changes to a bill creating a way to better track ammunition.
SB53 by Sen. Kevin de Leon, D-Los Angeles, requires ammunition vendors to be licensed and people buying ammunition to pass background checks. According to his office, the state Department of Justice will be required to keep a list of all authorized ammunition purchasers to make sure ammunition will only be accessible to lawful gun owners and not dangerous criminals.
De Leon’s office stated that while California has enacted legislation to keep guns out of the hands of criminals; little has been done to prevent them from getting ammunition. Supporters estimated that millions of rounds of ammunition are being sold to criminals each year.
The amendments passed 42-26 and will be voted on by the full Assembly next week.