Bay Area firearms retailer weighs in on proposals for stricter gun legislation

In the wake of Tuesday's mass shooting at a Texas elementary school, a California congressman is calling for stricter gun regulations nationwide.

"There’s no one bill that’s going to solve everything, but we do know that HR8 will save lives," said Rep. Mike Thompson of California.

The bill would expand background check requirements nationwide to include all firearms sold at gun shows and online.  

"Gun laws don’t know state lines, so we could have the best gun laws in the world right here in California, but we’re always susceptible to folks from other areas or guns from other areas," said Thompson.

In California, universal background checks on firearms are already required. Gabriel Vaughn, the owner of Sportsman’s Arms in Petaluma, said he is not opposed to the proposed federal law.

"I don’t have a problem with it, if that’s something we can do, why not give it a shot," said Vaughn.

On Wednesday, Gov. Gavin Newsom also unveiled a series of state bills targeting gun sales.

"Those states like California that have the most progressive policies, and are restricting the abuse and proliferation of guns, have consistently outperformed other states in terms of gun murder rates and gun death rates," said Newsom.

One bill would allow California residents to sue individuals who manufacture, distribute or sell ghost guns or assault weapons. But Vaughn said he was not convinced that the bill would address what he considers, root problems, including mental health and situations akin to April’s mass shooting in Sacramento.

"Career criminals modified illegal firearms, which at a federal level would have already been massively illegal. Full automatics, you cannot possess as a private citizen," said Vaughn.

In California, assault weapons are already banned. 

"People aren’t going to stop doing illegal things if they want that horrifying goal at the end," said Vaughn.

Vaughn described the governor’s latest proposal as more of the same, what he considers a maze of confusing, costly, and ineffective gun legislation. 

Meantime, lawmakers at the federal level are calling on their colleagues to help them fix that problem.

"If the senate republicans don’t like my bill. They should put a bill up. They should come forward with some ideas on how to make sure our children are safe," said Rep. Thompson.

HR8, the universal background check bill which Thompson co-sponsored, still needs 10 more votes to get to a debate in the US Senate.