By: Teresa Mull
California’s ultra-strict gun control laws failed to stop a mass shooting at the Gilroy Garlic Festival on Sunday.
Santino William Legan, 19, killed three people and wounded 12 others before he himself was shot and killed by police.
Authorities say Santino William Legan killed three people, including a 6-year-old boy and a 13-year-old girl, at the Gilroy Garlic Festival with a rifle he legally purchased three weeks ago in Nevada.
The gunman, 19, opened fire on the crowds attending the outdoor festival around 5:40 p.m. local time Sunday, according to Gilroy Police Chief Scot Smithee, and was fatally shot within one minute by three officers already on the scene.
"It could have gone so much worse, so fast," said Smithee, who thanked the officers on duty at the festival for responding so quickly.
Legan was able to carry out his heinous crimes despite California being ranked as the Giffords Law Center’s number one, A-rated state for “gun law strength.”
The only thing we know for a fact at this moment is that the Gilroy Garlic Festival and the host location in Christmas Hill Park is a Gun Free Zone. That means none of the law-abiding festival attendees were armed. They were all sitting ducks.
The Gilroy Garlic Festival website clearly lists the Christmas Hill Park as a gun-free killing zone, banning “weapons of any kind.”
According to the Crime Prevention Research Center, and reported by The Blaze, “…only a little more than 1% of mass public shootings since 1950 have occurred in places that were not considered to be a gun-free zone. In fact, as Crime Prevention Research Center President John Lott Jr. noted in October 2015, only two mass shootings in the U.S. since 1950 have occurred in an area where citizens were not prohibited from carrying a gun.”
A slew of new gun control laws went into effect in California earlier this year, despite evidence showing gun control is ineffective in preventing violent crime.
CNN reported in October 2018:
Gov. Jerry Brown just signed several gun control bills in a state the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence says already had the strongest gun laws in the nation.
One law raises the age for buying a shotgun or rifle in California from 18 to 21.
The law, which goes into effect January 1, 2019, carves out exceptions for hunters, police officers and members of the military.
Other gun measures signed into law last week by Brown will do the following:
-- Ban anyone convicted of certain domestic violence misdemeanors from owning a firearm for life.
-- Prevent people who have been hospitalized more than once in one year for mental health issues from owning a gun for life.
-- Require people applying for concealed gun permits to get at least eight hours of gun safety training.
-- Allow police to ask for a gun violence restraining order verbally when there's not time to make a written request.
-- Require all California law enforcement agencies to input information on lost or stolen guns into a state database within a week of the agency finding out the firearm was missing.
Teresa Mull is editor of Gunpowder Magazine. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.