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Enforce existing gun laws before making more

By in Press Enterprise on November 23, 2017

By The Editorial Board

With the nation still reeling from the horrors of mass shootings in Las Vegas and Sutherland Springs, Texas, news of the shooting rampage in Tehama County last week that left five people dead and many more injured provoked a common feeling of despondency and anger at the seeming frequency of such incidents.

While some reflexively responded to news of the shootings by invoking the need for new, generic gun control legislation, what we know now is that in the particular case of the killer in Tehama County, as with the killer in Sutherland Springs, laws and mechanisms to keep guns out of the hands of people who shouldn’t have them weren’t fully or properly enforced.

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According to the Associated Press, at the time of the shootings in Tehama County, the killer was out on bail for an incident in January in which he shot at and threatened neighbors, and stabbed one of them. Set for a preliminary hearing in December and trial in January, he had a restraining order against him forbidding him from possessing or acquiring firearms.

Despite the court order, the killer was nevertheless able to acquire rifles described as “homemade” and handguns registered to someone else. That he had acquired firearms in violation of the restraining order was far from a secret, however, as neighbors had repeatedly complained to police about “hundreds of rounds” being fired […]    

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