San Jose leaders propose tougher gun laws

San Jose leaders are proposing amendments to gun sales ordinances, designed to reduce or eliminate so-called straw purchases. Flanked by the city’s police chief and other community state-holders, Mayor Sam Liccardo, (D) San Jose, says it’s time to update the city’s gun ordinances – laws that haven’t been amended since Ronald Regan was in the White House.

“We’ve seen enough studies demonstrating straw purchasing are endemic particularly among gangs that are purchasing guns, often from gang members who don’t have a prior record,” said Liccardo.

Using police headquarters as his backdrop, Liccardo says he’s proposing “common sense” gun safety measures, designed to prevent straw purchases. From 2001-to-2015, he says 363,000 guns were sold in Santa Clara County, with many of those purchases taking place in the county’s largest city. But Liccardo cited national statistics showing about half of all guns used in crimes were purchased illegally – leading to community heartache.

“We see first-hand, the pain, the sorry, the suffering, and the loss of lives through gun violence,” said Pastor Danny Sanchez of City Peace Project.

The mayor is proposing four amendments to the city’s existing gun ordinances. He’ll require video and audio recording of all gun sales in shops, for access by police if needed; prohibit the sale of guns and ammunition within a residence; require a license for the sale or transfer of all concealable firearms; and display information about local gun laws, and post suicide warning signs and prevention programs.

“With this proposal, San Jose is on the forefront of gun safety laws and today’s announcement is a sensible step to keep us all safe,” said Jessica Blitchok of Moms Demand Action. Added chief Garcia, “It will give us another tool to help insure legally sold firearms are not falling into the hands of those who are prohibited from possessing them. It creates accountability, and a deterrent for those who would purchase a gun for someone other than themselves.”

Supporters say these proposals are not radical, and many have been standard business practices for years. Still, the mayor says he expects lawsuits, and push back from some gun retailers. but he stresses  his proposals are in line with the Second Amendment. This proposal will be considered by city council members next Month as part of prioritization process.