Gun Laws & Legislation

California City Mandates Videotaping Of Gun Purchases

(Photo credit should read GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP via Getty Images)

Emma Henderson Contributor
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A law was passed in San Jose, California, that requires retailers to video all firearm purchases, The Mercury News reported Wednesday. 

The law comes less than a month after the recent mass shooting that occurred at Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA). (RELATED: San Jose Shooter Was Previously Questioned By Border Officials)

The shooting occurred on May 26 when a former employee of the VTA, released fire on co-workers, killing nine people before taking his own life. The suspect was identified as Samuel Cassidy.

The new law, which was unanimously approved by the city council Tuesday, aimed to “deter an illegal practice known as straw purchasing, in which someone buys a gun for another person.” 

“We know a significant number of crooks and gangs get firearms through straw purchasing,” Mayor Sam Liccardo said in a statement. “This set of ordinances is really focused on narrowing the flow of guns to those which are clearly legal and hopefully doing something to deter the flow of guns that are unlawful to own.”

The ordinance, which mandates not only the videotaping of gun purchases but also bans the sale of guns or ammunition from residences in San Jose is just one part of Mayor Liccardo’s comprehensive 10-point gun control plan, according to a local NBC station.

The law mandates a license for gun transfer sales and requires that sellers maintain an annual inventory of firearms and ammunition.

Gun retailers must also train employees to determine whether a prospective customer is attempting to buy a firearm for another person.

The ordinance will require the stores to display signs with information about gun laws, suicide prevention and domestic violence.

The Mercury Press reported that gun-rights advocates, like the Sacramento-based Firearms Policy Coalition, quickly disapproved of the new ordinance. They called it “outrageous and unconstitutional.”

The advocacy group added that it “will not hesitate” to challenge the city’s policies in federal court and “take every possible action to block their enforcement.”

“Nobody will ever suggest that there is anything we can do to eliminate all incidents (of gun violence),” Councilmember David Cohen said. “But our goal is to make San Jose safer and to be a model for what cities can do to make sure guns don’t fall into the wrong hands.”