August 20, 2019
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CLARA COUNTY URGES FEDERAL BAN ON ASSAULT WEAPONS
SAN JOSE – The Santa Clara County
Board of Supervisors last week unanimously approved a resolution, authored by
Board President Joe Simitian and Supervisor Susan Ellenburg, that calls on the
Federal government to pass legislation banning the sale of assault weapons in
the United States.
In January of this year, Senator Dianne Feinstein introduced a bill
banning assault weapons of the type used in these shootings. The Senate
majority declined to put it up for a vote.
“We in California live in a state with some of the most rigorous firearms
laws anywhere in the nation, and we are safer because of it. But as the tragedy
in Gilroy reminds us, our safety extends only as far as our state’s borders
when an individual can simply travel to Nevada – or Oregon or Arizona or more
than 40 other states – and buy a weapon of this type,” said Simitian. “In the face of evidence like this, a federal
assault weapons ban is more than common sense. It is a moral imperative.”
“Experience in other developed nations shows that a ban on assault
weapons can work. Gun homicide rates in the United States are more than 25
times higher than in other highly developed countries. There are more public
mass shootings in America than anywhere else in the world,” said Simitian.
“We know this is doable; we’ve done it before,” said Simitian. “Between
1994 and 2004, our nation operated under such a ban, and a recent study
concluded that the prior ban reduced the probability of mass-shooting
fatalities by 70%. We can and should do it again.”
The six deadliest mass shootings in America in the last decade all
involved the use of assault weapons. In these shootings, more than 200 people
were killed and nearly 1,000 injured. And in most mass shootings across the
United States history, the perpetrators acquired their weapons legally.
The vote to urge a federal ban came after the Board recessed to raise the
flags at the County Government center in memory of the three victims killed in
the Gilroy shooting. The flags had been flown at half staff for the prior two
"After tragedy, there can and should be a time for mourning. But
sorrow cannot stand in the way of action. We owe it to our fellow Americans to
lend our voices and our strength to help protect them from suffering what too
many communities have already endured,” said Simitian.