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Editorial: Area legislators step up after Isla Vista tragedy

By   /   Friday, October 3rd, 2014  /   1 Comment

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The Isla Vista rampage happened four months ago, but legislators from the Central Coast have not let the issue fade away.

On Sept. 30, Gov. Jerry Brown signed two new laws that, when they take effect early next year, will strengthen public protection from violent episodes like the Elliot Rodger killing spree that claimed seven lives, seriously injured 13 people and rocked UC Santa Barbara’s student community.

AB 1014, co-sponsored by Assemblymember Das Williams, a Santa Barbara Democrat, and Berkeley colleague Nancy Skinner, allows family members to petition a judge to request that firearms be temporarily removed from a loved one who poses a serious threat.

The Gun Violence Restraining Order legislation seeks to close a loophole where there are warning signs of violence; it passed with some objection from Tea Party members who feared abuse of the statute.

Under Senate Bill 505, sponsored by Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, also a Democrat from Santa Barbara, local law enforcement agencies will develop policies to encourage officers to perform an check on the state’s automated firearms system prior to conducting a welfare check on someone who is potentially a danger to themselves or others.

As Rodger’s mental condition spiraled downward last spring, family members contacted the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office and asked it to perform a welfare check on him. Deputies knocked on the door and were met, according to their records, by a subdued and polite Rodger. The visit occurred just three weeks before Rodger’s rampage.

The sheriff’s office has confirmed that it did not seek information about any potential weapons. Rodger himself wrote in his manifesto that had the police asked about the guns then in his possession, his plans for a murder spree would have been disrupted or totally derailed.

“As a result of the action the governor has taken today, we are able to say that the rampage in Isla Vista produced not just terrible tragedy but also positive changes for our state and our community,” Jackson said in a statement.

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1 Comment

  1. matt kolb says:

    It is not even comprehensible what happened in Isla Vista that day. The ‘alleged’ murderer took the lives of his 3 roommates first with a KNIFE. Then took more lives with a GUN and then ran over people with his CAR. Truly the actions of a disturbed person. The problem with this ‘politically’ correct bill is that it only addressed guns. The reason being is that they are a media hot button. What did our state do to stop the violence caused buy this person with a knife? Nothing. With a car? Nothing. Why not? Everyone knows why not. It’s not because they care about potential future victims but that they care about a) gun grabbing and b) vote getting. The penalty for filing a FALSE report under the provisions of this law to have guns taken away from a perceived threat is ONLY a misdemeanor. This means that this law WILL be abused. Determine for yourself what the real motives of these politicians are without the hearsay of why they “really care”.

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