New California law tightens gun-buying loophole exposed by Poway synagogue shooting

New California law tightens gun-buying loophole exposed by Poway synagogue shooting

(Ethan Miller/Getty Images) An attendee looks at Smith & Wesson M&P15 rifles at the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s annual Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade Show in Las Vegas in this 2012 file photo. The law, just signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom, requires the DOJ to verify the validity of a hunting license for those under 21 Like the many gun safety bills that have come before it, the one just signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom is borne from tragedy. In 2019, John T. Earnest, a then-19-year-old Rancho Peñasquitos college student, opened fire on a Poway synagogue using a rifle he bought at a Grantville gun shop. He did so under a narrow provision that allows 18- to 20-year-olds to buy guns as long as they have a hunting license. Earnest had one — the license just wasn’t valid yet. A measure signed into law Thursday night tightens that loophole. The legislation is the latest reminder that even in a state with some of the nation’s strictest gun laws, ambiguities — and ways to exploit them — remain. New laws are a common ripple effect of modern-day mass shootings and other random gun violence that making national headlines. Often, they are narrowly tailored to address a specific, and perhaps previously overlooked, gap in existing law. In response to the 2015 San Bernardino mass shooting, California banned “bullet buttons” — or a button on a rifle that enables the shooter, with the use of a small tool, to release a magazine and […]

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