Gun control advocates were wrong-footed by the San Bernadino terrorist attack. How could such a thing happen in California, the state with the strictest gun control laws in the country? Even before the bodies were cold, gun control zealots had an answer: California’s neighboring states! Their “lax” gun laws were to blame. This despite the fact that there was no evidence whatsoever that the killers bought their guns in Arizona or Nevada. Check out this excerpt from Why California’s Strict Gun Laws Didn’t Matter In San Bernardino at huffingtonpost.com . . .
In an era where mass shootings have become commonplace, the couple’s firepower still raises eyebrows — especially in California, which experts say has the nation’s strictest gun laws. Those laws typically forbid the sale and possession of assault rifles of the sort used by the shooters.
But authorities said the shooters’ arms were purchased legally, perhaps exposing the limits of state gun regulations in a country where gun laws vary widely from one state to the next.
The DPMS Model A15 and a Smith and Wesson M&P15 that Farook and Malik used aren’t explicitly prohibited under state law, since both rifles are available for purchase with bullet buttons, according to The Associated Press.
It was unclear if the rifles were purchased in California under the loophole, or in another state.
The ATF on Thursday night said both rifles had been illegally modified, according to Desert Sun reporter Brett Kellman, One had been rigged to hold a 30-round magazine; an attempt was made to convert the other to full automatic fire.
If the assault rifles or the high-capacity magazines used in the massacre were purchased in another state, it would be consistent with a pattern.
“California is not an island,” said Ari Freilich, staff attorney for the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. “People can go to neighboring states. A significant source of crime guns and guns used to inflict acts of violence in the state come from other states with weaker gun laws.”
If? Consistent with a pattern?
There are limits to what California can do, however, when states like Nevada and Arizona, which have loose gun laws, are within driving distance.
“What we know is that each year more and more crime guns are coming in to California from states like Nevada and Arizona that don’t have laws, like expanded Brady background checks, to keep guns out of the hands of convicted felons, suspected terrorists, and other people intent on doing harm,” Dan Gross, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, said in a statement. “The number of crime guns coming from NV and AZ, into CA has more than doubled since 2006.”
Fifty-seven percent of out-of-state guns used in California crimes came from just 10 states in 2007, according to a 2008 report by Mayors Against Illegal Guns . . .
In a separate 2010 analysis, Mayors Against Illegal Guns found that 4,462 of guns recovered in California crimes in 2009 were imported from out of state, whereas 1,772 guns recovered in other states were found to have originated in California.
So…there’s no proof that Arizona’s or Nevada’s gun laws had anything to do with this crime, and gun control-happy California is a source for “crime guns.” But The Huffington Post’s happy to publish an article suggesting a connection relying on data massaged and manipulated by a civilian disarmament organization.
I think it’s safe to say that’s consistent with a pattern.