Why enforcing gun laws is easier said than done for California

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST: California has endured two mass shootings in three days, first the 11 killed in Monterey Park over the weekend and then those seven more yesterday in Half Moon Bay – this despite the fact that California has some of the toughest gun safety laws in the nation. NPR’s Martin Kaste reports on the practical challenges the state has enforcing those laws. MARTIN KASTE, BYLINE: One kind of challenge is legal – for instance, the gun used in Monterey Park. Here’s LA County Sheriff Robert Luna. (SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING) ROBERT LUNA: The weapon that we recovered I’m describing as a magazine-fed, semi-automatic assault pistol, not an assault rifle but an assault pistol that had an extended large-capacity magazine. KASTE: That extended magazine – a way to fire more rounds without having to stop to reload – that’s illegal in California. But in practice, police are not able to enforce the ban on possessing those magazines right now because of an ongoing lawsuit in federal court. Ari Freilich is with the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. ARI FREILICH: Large areas of California’s gun safety law, which have been largely very effective in reducing gun violence in the state overall, those have been subject to litigation over and over again. KASTE: The lawsuit over the magazines is still alive because of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Bruen decision last year. That decision reined in gun control laws in New York state, setting a new standard for the […]

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