California has among the nation’s strictest gun control laws. It requires background checks for all gun sales, enforces an assault weapons ban, and has strict restrictions on magazines.
However, the ISIS-inspired terrorists who carried out this week’s atrocities in San Bernardino were still able to amass a sizable arsenal to carry out their attacks.
There are some doubts as to whether or not their guns were legally obtained or even legal in the state of California. The handguns were purchased by the terrorists themselves through the existing background check system. They also faced a 10-day waiting period before the gun was transferred.
However, the AR-15 rifles were purchased by a friend of theirs. In California, private gun sales are illegal unless they go through a background check by a licensed dealer. It’s unclear whether or not that occurred in this case.
California bans magazines that hold more than 10 rounds, and yet 30-round magazines were used in the attack. The state also prohibits detachable magazines in a firearm with other cosmetic components such as pistol grips or telescoping stocks. Many “California compliant” AR-15s come with a “bullet button.” A bullet button is a workaround because it allows a user to detach the magazine with a bullet instead of a finger.
So the San Bernardino shooter used magazines that were illegal in California, and the background checks were possibly not conducted, even though the state mandates them for private gun sales. Remind me again how more gun control laws could have prevented this.