California is more than happy to pile on more and more gun control laws that almost exclusively affect law-abiding citizens. But when it comes to keeping criminals convicted of gun crimes off the street, they’re not particularly interested.
California has some of the nation’s strongest gun control laws, with 15 more signed into law Friday by Gov. Gavin Newsom. Gun control advocates here are quick to criticize the Trump administration and the Republican-controlled U.S. Senate for failing to pass strong gun safety laws. At his bill signing, Newsom called out U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky again for failing to bring gun legislation to a vote, calling him “cowardly in the face of this moment” and saying he “lacks resolve, character and leadership on this issue” with “people’s lives … hanging in the balance.”
But as happened in Selma, local police in California have increasingly been turning to federal authorities for help prosecuting gun crimes. The reason? [Criminals like William Carl] Adkins and people like him face far more time behind federal bars than they would if they were prosecuted under state law.
The program under which his case is being handled, Project Safe Neighborhoods, got its start in 2001 under President George W. Bush. It fell out of favor during the Obama administration, but the Justice Department under then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions reinstated it.