Democrats Once Again Fail to Protect Californians from Guns Owned by Convicted Criminals & Known Individuals with Mental Illness

Friday, August 30, 2019

Today, the Democrat-controlled Assembly Appropriations Committee failed to heed Governor Newsom’s outcry on the need for greater gun control. Without debate or public discussion, the Committee refused to pass Senate Bill 257, a measure to require the Attorney General to notify local law enforcement agencies and mental health departments if an individual is prohibited from owning or possessing a gun if the individual has unlawfully attempted to purchase a firearm.

“Guns in the wrong hands are deadly,” said Senator Jim Nielsen (R-Tehama). “Government at all levels need to communicate with each other to adequately protect us.”

Senator Nielsen added, “The Attorney General’s office has an extensive list of individuals who are not allowed to have guns, and they must share that with local officials. There have been incidents in other state where lives have been lost due to a lack of communication, which is unacceptable.”

In February 2019, Gary Martin, who was illegally in possession of a firearm, shot and killed five coworkers and wounded five police officers in Aurora, Illinois. Martin lied about having a felony conviction for aggravated assault for stabbing an ex-girlfriend on an application for a Firearm Owner’s Identification card, which allowed him to purchase the handgun used in the killings. It was later discovered when he applied to the Illinois State Police for a concealed carry license, and a notification had reportedly sent to Martin and the Aurora Police Department, yet the department has no record and nothing was done to retrieve the firearm.

Under Illinois law, Martin should not have been in possession of a firearm. A gap in communication helped facilitate these murders.

“California can do better. And we must do better to take the necessary first step to remove firearms from those that we know should not have them. My Democrat colleagues in the Senate and the Assembly Public Safety Committee agreed and passed the bill unanimously. I look forward to working with them, the Governor and the Attorney General to keep guns away from these individuals,” Senator Nielsen stated.