On Monday, a bill introduced by Senator Anthony J. Portantino (D–La Cañada Flintridge) moved through the senate in 29-11 vote which would address the gun purchase loophole related to the synagogue shooting in Poway.
The bill now heads to the State Assembly.
SB 914 requires that the Department of Justice verify the validity of the hunting license of persons under 21 who are eligible to purchase a firearm during the 10-day waiting period. Additionally, the bill defines what constitutes a valid and unexpired hunting license. The bill also updates several outdated code sections pertaining to fees associated with firearm purchaser information and includes code section cross references.
The Poway shooter was able to purchase a rifle despite being under 21 and not having a valid hunting license. Parties to the purchase failed to adequately check the validity of the license at the time of sale which resulted in the purchase being completed and the horrific and tragic violent crime happening. Senator Portantino had committed to closing the loophole in State Law to stop guns from getting into the wrong hands in the future.
In a previous legislative session, Senator Portantino authored a bill that banned the sale of long guns such as the semi-automatic rifles often used in these tragic shootings to those under 21. There were exemptions to this, including if the person had a valid hunting license. The Senator last year passed legislation to close the hunting license exemption for semi-automatic, center-fire rifles and introduced this bill to ensure that background checks are done accurately to ensure that mistakes such as the one that allowed the Poway shooter to purchase a firearm will not happen again.
Senator Anthony Portantino represents California’s 25th State Senate District, which includes Sunland/Tujunga, Atwater Village, and the Griffith Park areas of the city of Los Angeles, Burbank, Glendale, La Crescenta, Montrose, La Cañada Flintridge, Pasadena, Altadena, South Pasadena, San Marino, Sierra Madre, Monrovia, Bradbury, Duarte, Glendora, San Dimas, La Verne, Claremont and Upland.