California Governor Jerry Brown criticized states like Nevada and Arizona for having so-called ‘lax’ gun laws. “California has the toughest gun control laws of any state and Nevada and Arizona are wide open. So that's a gigantic backdoor through which any terrorist can walk.” Governor Brown apparently missed the fact that a whole host of California laws were broken by the terrorists in San Bernardino. His state’s draconian gun laws did not prevent this tragedy, but instead reduced the victims to cowering in the face of Islamic terrorists. Hero Shannon Johnson was killed bravely shielding Denise Peraza with his own body.
Arizona Governor Doug Ducey said:
"All of Arizona mourns for the victims in California. To politicize a tragedy of this magnitude and use it as an opportunity to attack our state is out of bounds. Not only will we be ignoring Gov. Brown's advice, but I call on him to retract his incredibly thoughtless and ill-advised comments.”
In regards to the Paris terrorist attacks last month, Gov. Ducey said, “These acts serve as a reminder that the world remains at war with radical Islamic terrorists. Our national leaders must react with the urgency and leadership that every American expects to protect our citizens.” Gov. Brown did not shy away from acknowledging the threat of Islamic terror. At least Gov. Brown got one thing right.
“At the same time, I don’t minimize the significance of this terrorist attack. […] It’s a very clear indication that this is a global phenomenon and that people who are committed to this jihadist doctrine are going to be killing people in very unexpected places. So we have to be, as I said, we have to be on our guard and we have to do whatever we can do.”
Nevada's governor's office, issued a statement Sunday afternoon.
"Nevadans share California's grief during this time of tragedy following the horrific events in San Bernardino. However, Governor Brown’s assertion that our state laws create an opening for terrorists is wrong and irresponsible. This type of political rhetoric is discouraging to hear at a time when all Americans are looking for thoughtful, honest leadership. Governor Sandoval’s top priority has always been the safety and well-being of Nevadans and the millions of tourists who travel to our state annually."
Nevada, California’s Criminal Arms Market?
Everytown Research, the discredited research arm of former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg's anti-gun organization Everytown for Gun Safety, has published 'research' (really just statistics explained in a way that makes Nevada look bad) supposedly drawing the conclusion that Nevada is some sort of arms bazaar to California criminals. The reality is quite the opposite.
Everytown says: “[...] since 2006, the number of Nevada guns recovered at California crime scenes has increased 94 percent.” According to an ATF firearms trace data (cited by Everytown), in 2006, 361 guns traced, came from Nevada, versus 2013, where the number was 699 guns. Saying the guns were recovered from a crime scene is a lie. The stats used are for all guns traced by the ATF, which includes not just guns from crime scenes, but guns confiscated from felons, for instance. Of course, California itself was the largest source of firearms recovered from criminals or at crime scenes.
The actual sources of the guns are never mentioned. For this to be an accurate comparison and used as evidence for universal background checks, how the guns got into the hands of California criminals is vitally important.
- How many of these guns were actually bought in sales which would be prohibited by the universal background check initiative?
- How many of these guns were bought/transferred illegally under existing laws (Straw purchases, illegal street dealers)?
- How many of these guns were legally brought in or sold/transferred to Californians?
- How many of these guns were stolen?
Everytown isn’t interested in answering these questions, only presenting the appearance of a problem where there is none. Now here’s the kicker. The largest out-of-state source for traced guns in Nevada (again, using the same source and definition as Everytown used) is: California!
Yes, Nevada does have private gun sales that a criminal from California could abuse. However, the onus is on California for infringing upon the Second Amendment rights of its citizens. California is also responsible for an influx of felons. “California’s two-strike felons often come to Nevada to avoid their third felony, and thus a potential 25-to-life sentence, and continue committing their crimes. Nevada’s three strike law doesn’t count out-of-state convictions,” Nevada Carry’s anonymous law enforcement source told us.
California’s Gun Laws Just Don’t Work
An effort, lead by California Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom, the former mayor of San Francisco, seeks to confiscate all grandfathered 10 round plus magazines, among other ineffective measures. California started the ‘assault weapons’ ban back in the 1980s after a mass shooting at McDonalds, later copied at the federal level for ten years. Clearly this ban had no effect on the terrorists. Brown and Newsom, along with Senator Barbara Boxer, who foolishly praised California’s gun laws after the terrorist attack. Boxer, whose brain must be malfunctioning after years of drinking the liberal Kool-Aid, liked the guns law working to speeding law working after illegal street racers plowed into a crowd.
In California, all ‘assault weapons’ must have been registered by 2001 or altered so that they no longer meet the state’s arbitrary criteria. The ‘assault weapon’ ban is predicated on mostly cosmetic and inconsequential features, such as a pistol grip, flash suppressor, detachable magazine, and collapsing stock. It was alleged based upon specious logic that such features make the weapon more deadly.
Media reports are stating that the rifles used in the attack were purchased by a friend Enrique Marquez. Police have not released any further details on how the weapons were acquired. They may have been solid in a private party transfer, using a gun dealer as California has banned private gun sales without going through a licensed dealer. Or, Marquez may have bought the weapons as a ‘straw purchase’ where they were intended for suspect Sayed Farook the whole time. Another option, most disconcerting to proponents of universal background checks, is that the law didn’t stop Marquez from illegally selling the weapons to Farook.
Media is also mistakenly describing the weapons as having been modified to be more powerful. An AR-15, like most rifles, is capable of penetrating soft police body armor, walls, and vehicles. Nothing was done to enhance the physical ‘punch’ of the weapons. Only modifications to the weapons functionality were made and illegal 10+ round magazines were used.
Under California law, if you took an AR-15 that was legal to possess in Nevada, removed the standard magazine release, and put one on there that needed a ‘tool’ to release it, such as the tip of a bullet, the weapon, though functionally identical to the prohibited ‘assault weapon’ would then be legal. Swapping out the bullet button for a proper magazine release takes about two minutes or less and requires no tools. At least one of the rifles was modified in attempt to make it fully automatic, but it was done improperly and it failed.
Law enforcement hasn’t said yet how the weapon was modified. AR-15 style rifles are distinctly different in semi-automatic and fully-automatic form. The conversion from semi-to-fully auto is not easy. Semi-auto ARs have a ‘denial hump’, or simply an area of the receiver that hasn’t been milled out. This is to deny the room needed for installing the auto-sear, which holds the hammer from hitting the firing pin and detonating the cartridge until the bolt is locked, preventing an explosion. The rifle would also need several different parts—a full-auto hammer and trigger disconnector, a three position safety catch, and a full-auto bolt—changed to function properly.
A “Lightning Link” could also have been made and installed. This is basically two pieces of metal which basically forces the semi-auto trigger to work in full-auto mode while delaying the stroke of the hammer as described as above. Truly modifying a weapon to be an illegal machine gun (under federal law) requires advanced gunsmithing and mechanical knowledge. Simpler solutions, like the SlideFire stock that moves the trigger finger to rapidly pull the trigger nearly as fast as full-auto fire, are already banned in California.
Another so-called modification was using 30 round ‘high capacity magazines’, which in reality are standard capacity. AR-15 designed Eugene Stoner’s original rife was designed to take 20 round magazines, increased to 30 rounds in 1969 for the M16 variant used in Vietnam. Supporters of restricting magazine capacity erroneously believe that ten round (or fewer) magazines will necessitate more frequent magazine changes. Sheriff Campbell of Boone County, Indiana, demonstrates how magazine capacity makes virtually no difference whatsoever in reloading speed, thus negating any alleged safety.