Ciudad de San José
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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 weeks.

“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.