By Robin Simmonds
The California Legislature today approved a measure that would encourage law enforcement officers to check to see whether a person who may be a danger to themselves or others is also the owner of a firearm.
Senate Bill 505, introduced by state Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara), was written in the aftermath of the Isla Vista rampage, when six people where killed by 22-year old Elliot Rodger, before Rodger committed suicide. Described as troubled since a young age, Rodger had been visited by law enforcement some three weeks before the shooting.
The bill, if signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown, would prompt officers to check the state’s existing database of gun registration before making a ‘welfare check’ on someone who may pose a danger.
“We will never know for sure if the outcome in Isla Vista might have been different with a gun database search,” said Jackson. “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.”