San Jose Mayor Pushes For New Local Gun Laws

No one will ever confuse San Jose with a pro-gun locale. If anyone ever does, it’s more likely indicative of the fact that the person in question is so rabidly anti-gun that they see anywhere that doesn’t openly and loudly embrace total victim disarmament as “pro-gun.”

As if to make sure no one gets confused on that fact, though, the mayor of San Jose is ready to embrace new gun control for his city.

Mayor Sam Liccardo presented a plan Tuesday to modify a San Jose gun control ordinance that has not been updated in almost 40 years.

He was joined by mothers advocating for gun control, high school students in the March for Our Lives movement, Police Chief Eddie Garcia and others at the Police Department’s headquarters Tuesday afternoon, where he described a strategy to obstruct illegal guns and “straw purchases” at gun shops.

Many illegal weapons on the street initially pass through the retail process where an individual without a criminal record may purchase a gun for a minor, a felon or someone who is otherwise legally barred, Liccardo said.

While there has been a dramatic increase in black market gun sales, there was also a 156 percent increase in guns legally sold in Santa Clara County between 2001 and 2015, according to the mayor’s office. The memorandum is an effort to curb the sale of legal guns that may be ending up stolen, transferred or in the wrong hands.

Liccardo is calling for video and audio surveillance of all gun purchases at about two dozen retailers in the city and employee training to ask customers who they are purchasing the gun for. The plan is co-sponsored by Vice Mayor Chappie Jones and will be presented to the City Council in March.

It’s been way too long since I bought a gun, but I could have sworn that’s asked on the Form 4473 already.

What Liccardo is trying to do has nothing to do with stopping criminals. He’s trying to make it more difficult to operate legal gun stores within the city. By demanding not just video and audio surveillance–a system that tends to be very expensive and one that’s likely to force many stores to shut down–but mandating clerks ask that question, Liccardo’s creating opportunities to hit these stores with non-compliance penalties.

It’s a blatant attempt to impact lawful gun sales and make them unlawful.

Also among Liccardo’s plans is to ban the home manufacturing of firearms. While it’s framed as being about 3D printed guns, my money is that it’s broader than that.

Of course, this is a law that would be essentially unenforceable. After all, items like 3D printers aren’t controlled. Anyone can get one and use it.

Further, 80 percent receivers are available elsewhere. People will still make guns, and the city won’t be able to do a damn thing about it. All they’ll do is ensure that the people making them are more likely to be the kind of people they don’t want armed anyway.

Of course, for someone like Liccardo, that’s anyone, anyone at all.

[Edit: An earlier version of this story had the city listed as San Francisco because…well, no excuse.]