Federalizing California’s laws is the answer to preventing future mass shootings like the one that happened in California this weekend, according to one of the state’s senators.
Dianne Feinstein (D., Calif.) called for a collection of new federal gun laws in response to a shootout in Sacramento, California, on Sunday morning, which left six dead and a dozen injured. She said Congress should adopt universal background checks, bans on “assault weapons” and “ghost guns,” as well as an ammunition magazine capacity limit to prevent similar future killings.
“Congress knows what steps must be taken to stop these mass shootings, we just have to act,” Feinstein said in a press release.
However, all of the policies Feinstein advocated for are already law in California. The state has among the strictest gun laws in the country. It has long required background checks on private sales of used guns, banned a continually expanding list of “assault weapons,” limited the capacity of ammunition magazines to ten rounds, and outlawed unserialized firearms.
Feinstein admitted many of the details of the shooting were “still being investigated” when she issued her statement. Police hadn’t apprehended any suspects when she weighed in on a solution. Details remain limited on what happened during the shooting, but reports indicate shots were fired after an early-morning fight outside a nightclub in a crowded downtown area of the city. Three suspects with serious criminal records have now been apprehended, according to Sacramento Police,
Federal law precludes at least two of the men from possessing firearms due to their previous convictions. Additionally, one of the men has been charged with illegal possession of a machinegun, another federal crime.
Feinstein was not the only one to call for new federal gun laws in response to the shooting. President Joe Biden (D.) advocated for many of the same policies during his comments on the killings.
“We also continue to call on Congress to act,” Biden said on Sunday. “Ban ghost guns. Require background checks for all gun sales. Ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.”
The refrain has become a common response from gun-control advocates in the wake of high-profile shootings. They often argue while California’s gun laws are strong, looser laws in neighboring states undermine those policies. Advocates say federal gun laws are required to ensure criminals cannot obtain banned guns or accessories across state lines and then illegally transport them back into California.
“Of course, this isn’t an isolated event,” Feinstein said. “It’s the latest in an epidemic of gun violence that continues to plague our country. Enough is enough. We can no longer ignore gun violence in our communities.”
However, there are no reports the suspects in Sacramento’s shooting obtained their guns from outside the state. They would have been breaking federal law by obtaining them regardless given their criminal histories.
Sacramento Police are asking anyone with more information on the shooting to contact them at (916) 808-5471 or the Sacramento Valley Crime Stoppers at (916) 443-HELP (4357). They are offering a reward of up to $1,000 for information, and callers may remain anonymous.