Enforce laws on guns held by known abusers
Whatever their views on interpreting the Second Amendment and on the possibilities and limitations of gun control in protecting the public safety, Americans are united in their desire to find workable ways to stem the violence of this current epidemic of mass shootings.
As we noted in this space Thursday, the best way forward in the current predicament is to intensify the ways that agreed-upon laws regulating firearms already on the books are enforced.
As law enforcement and academic researchers deepen their search for patterns in the makeup of American mass shooters, one common thread running through them — not always, but often enough to make a real difference — is a history of past domestic abuse, of either their children or of spouses and significant others.
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In California, for example, as noted in a UC Davis pilot study of the issue, domestic violence offenders with court restraining orders against them must surrender their firearms to a law enforcement agency or sell them to a licensed firearms retailer within 24 hours after the order is served, and file a receipt with the court to document compliance within 48 hours. Since 2007, they also must surrender their firearms immediately if a law enforcement officer makes a demand for them.
Problem is, law enforcement agencies have plenty on their plate dealing with new problems, […]