The Isla Vista tragedy that took place last week has sparked a heated debate amongst California lawmakers for upping gun restriction for those that are mentally unstable. They are calling for increased restrictions on gun purchases for individuals who are suspected of having mental health issues and could pose a threat to themselves or others, the AP/Sacramento Bee reports.
This debate comes after six people were killed last week by a young man who is suspected of having mental health issues.
On May 23, Elliot Rodger, 22, took the lives of six people by stabbing or shooting them and injured 13 others in Isla Vista, Calif. Rodger had legally purchased three semi-automatic guns and ammunition used in his brutal attacks.
The Isla Vista tragedy occurred after Rodger’s family members had contacted the Santa Barbara County Sherriff’s Department on April 30 regarding concerns about his mental health. Police conducted a welfare visit and concluded that Rodger did not pose a threat.
Following the killing spree, California lawmakers proposed to change the state’s ruling for gun purchases.
Assembly members Nancy Skinner, Das Williams, and the state Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson have introduced a bill that would allow temporary restraining orders to prevent people who are potentially violent from purchasing guns. The bill would allow for family members and friends to contact law enforcement if they believe an individual could be a threat to themselves or others, and officers could then ask a judge for the temporary restraining order.
Under current state law, individuals can be banned from buying guns only if they are involuntarily committed to a mental facility.
In addition, Senate President Pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg said the state should also require law enforcement officers to check for weapons when conducting welfare visits, such as the one that took place at Rodger’s residence on April 30th per California Healthline. Steinberg says that officers should search the area when such visits take place and speak with roommates and neighbors.