Voice of San Diego: Bill Seeks to Close Loophole That Helped Accused Poway Shooter Buy a Gun
The 19-year-old man accused of tearing through a Poway synagogue last year, killing a woman and injuring others, should not have been in possession of a semi-automatic rifle. California limits the sale of an AR-15 to adults who are 21 and older — but makes an exception for registered hunters.
Court records show that John Earnest, the man accused of carrying out the rampage, had completed a hunting education course online by the time he purchased a rifle in April 2019, but authorities have said his hunting license wasn’t yet in effect. The state’s Fish and Game Code defines a “valid” hunting license as beginning July 1 of the year it’s been issued.
To ensure there’s no confusion over this point in the future, state Sen. Anthony Portantino, a Democrat from the Los Angeles area, introduced a bill last week requiring the California Department of Justice to verify a hunting license during the 10-day waiting period. If state officials cannot, they’re obligated to immediately notify the dealer and cancel the sale.
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