In light of the one year anniversary of the tragedy in Isla Vista, our 5-part series captures a pulse of the community one year later.
In our interview with Richard Martinez, who lost his son Christopher in last year’s rampage, he mentioned one piece of legislation, AB 1014, that would take guns away from individuals who are deemed mentally unstable by police or family members. Would that have stopped May 23rd tragedy? To try and answer that question, Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown visited our studio.
Brown headed the investigation following the mass murder. You can read the report here.
Another piece of legislation passed was Senate Bill 505, which encourages officers to search California’s database of gun purchases prior to conducting a “welfare check.” Brown says this is now a part of his department’s policy. However, he’s not sure if that would have changed the minds of sheriffs when they checked up on Elliot Rodger a month before the tragedy. They would have found that Elliot Rodger had bought 3 guns and hundreds of ammunition, but that he had done so legally.
“It’s not something that law enforcement can take action on, to deprive that person of those legally obtained and possessed firearms.” – Bill Brown
Stay tuned to KCRW on 88.7fm mornings and afternoons as our series continues. Or follow the series here.