California officials mull tougher measures against ‘ghost guns’
SAN MATEO, California – Top San Mateo County law enforcement specialists pooled their expertise to brainstorm on ways to keep firearms out of the hands of prohibited persons as a spike in gun violence incidents broke out in different parts of the country, the most recent being in Sacramento, where six people were killed and 12 injured outside a night club.
A workshop called Keeping Firearms Out of the Hands of Prohibited Persons: Focus on Ghost Guns, Restraining Orders hosted by San Mateo County Board of Supervisors President Don Horsley, Vice President Dave Pine and the Giffords Law Center, tackled the challenges posed by ghost guns – untraceable firearms – and how to maximize use of restraining orders and the California Department of Justice Armed and Prohibited Persons System.
Among those who shared their views were Representative Jackie Speier, Assemblymember Kevin Mullin, Sheriff Carlos Bolanos, SMC DA Steve Wagstaffe, and Julia Weber, Implementation Director, Giffords Law Center with California Attorney General Ron Bonta delivering the keynote address.
Speier reiterated her belief that there is nothing that the San Mateo County, where she belongs, cannot do when it puts its mind to it.
“Guns are part of the culture we had it for the longest time and will continue to be. There are more guns 393 million guns in this country than there are more people. And we have gaping holes in the background check law. We did not have the internet when the first laws were passed. Now we have the internet, person-to-person sales and now we have the ghost guns and now buy parts with ghost guns together,” Speier noted.
She also reported that every town has estimated a minimum of 300,000 people who purchased guns without background check during the pandemic. . .
Attorney General Rob Bonta lamented that lockdowns in schools happen throughout the country and many children have been impacted by gun violence either directly or through a loved one.
“They deserve to walk the road that is better, safer than the one they currently are in not just in the classrooms, their neighborhoods, communities, towns and cities. The people just don’t deserve safety. They are demanding it. They march for our lives That is a very powerful and inspirational act of many young people in our country,” Bonta emphasized.
In an interview, Bonta said the issue on ghost guns has been around for a number of years, and there is a need to rise to their threats.
“Those guns don’t have serial numbers. They’re a high risk and a very dangerous development,” Bonta decried. “We need to get on it with stricter regulations that will require background checks and serialization.” .
Bonta said advances in technology can help us in identifying red flags, in coming up with data bases and other inputs to hopefully identify the next mass shooting incident before it happens.”
“Whether be in the Central Valley, Southern California, San Diego, Bay Area, Sacramento, we got those (ghost) guns in all of them. We see them everywhere,” Bonta rued.