The state senator who represents the Isla Vista community that was ravaged by a mass murder last month has introduced legislation to require law enforcement to check California's gun-purchase database before going out on a welfare check, and provide grants to help police take guns from people who are not allowed to own them.
Police checked on Elliot Rodger, the 22-year-old authorities say killed six people in Isla Vista before killing himself, after his parents alerted them of his violent video rants just a couple weeks before the shooting. The officers did not find evidence that Rodger posed a threat to himself or others.
"Although law enforcement may not have had the legal authority to seize Elliot 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," said a statement from Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, D-Santa Barbara.
Her Senate Bill 505 would require officers to search the state Department of Justice's Automated Firearms System database before checking on someone who may be in danger of committing violence.
Jackson's Senate Bill 580 would provide funding to help enforce California's existing gun laws: $5 million in grants for local law enforcement agencies to take guns from people who are not allowed to own them; $10 million over three years to upgrade the Department of Justice's data systems used to register gun ownership and conduct background checks; and $50,000 for training police in using the gun-purchasing database.
"Both of these bills are about making better use of the tools and the laws at hand to help prevent gun violence," Jackson's statement said.