In present American climate, these cases of mass shootings have become repetitive. The firepower unleashed raised considerable eyebrows in California, due to strict enforcement of gun laws. Majority of high-powered rifles are banned as per California’s Assault Weapons Control Act of 1989 and another 2004 law. Another law was promulgated in 2000, as per which high-capacity magazines were banned for sale. Four such banned magazines were found at the San Bernardino incident, subsequent to the attack. Furthermore, the police stated that the couple was equipped with 1,600 additional rounds of bullets stocked in their SUV vehicle.
Californian State Law Loophole
California State may ban the purchase and possession of such high-powered rifles; however, these assault rifles were fitted with a button mechanism for unleashing ammunition rounds, allowing its legitimacy in Californian state. This exception to the Californian state law is known as ‘bullet button loophole’. Gun manufacturers utilize this loophole for manufacturing and selling high-powered assault rifles in state of California. The rifles used for unleashing carnage on unarmed civilians were legally acquired in state of California. The handguns were purchased by Farook, while another associate purchased the rifles.
Cross border purchase vs. modified weapons
At San Bernardino shooting incident, the rifles were upgraded illegally as per an ATF spokeswoman. The DPMS A-15 used by Tashfeen Malik was upgraded to accommodate extra 30-rounds of ammunition, while the Smith & Wesson M&P15 used by Farook was upgraded to fire as an automatic weapon.
Alternatively, due to ban on high-powered assault rifles and magazines in the state, the shooters could have purchased their rifles from another state as opposed to illegally modifying them. In neighboring states, high-capacity magazines, military-grade assault rifles and semi-automatic weapons are available under pro-gun laws. As a result, state gun laws vary from one state to another.
According to an official from Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, California is an interconnected state. As a result, people enter the state from neighboring states. Majority of the guns used for committing acts of violence in Californian state is due to transportation of those weapons from states having pro-gun laws.
Obama Stepping in
President Obama came out in public to promise implementation of gun-control laws in an exorbitantly poisoned debate held on national television.
In an excessively polarized politics, president Obama emphasized his stringent focus on implementing gun-control laws such as, conducting background check on sales of arms. More so, he held Congress responsible for backing out for his call on amplifying efforts to fund in his endeavors. He unequivocally declared Congress as the guilty party with its inaction on gun control laws.