The suspected shooter in Wednesday night’s attack at a California bar used a high-capacity magazine outlawed by a 2016 voter referendum, although its implementation is currently delayed by a lawsuit from gun rights advocates.
Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean said at a press conference Thursday that Marine veteran Ian David Long used an extended magazine with his pistol to kill 12 people and that he bought the gun legally.
California outlawed the purchase of such extended magazines in 2000 but allowed existing owners of the magazines to keep them. A voter referendum that passed in 2016 banned their possession.
Long would have been 10 years old when the purchase ban was passed and likely bought the magazine illegally.
The California Rifle & Pistol Association (CRPA), which is associated with the National Rifle Association, and five California residents sued on the grounds that the referendum limited their Second Amendment rights. Implementation of the referendum is still delayed because of the suit.
“So we’ve got to push those through, we’ve got to get out of the courts and we’ve got to implement them,” Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom (D) said at a press conference Thursday.
“Officials have confirmed that the #ThousandOaks shooter used a high-capacity magazine that Californians voted to ban in 2016. The @NRA filed a lawsuit to block the law. It's time for California to uphold the will of the voters, enforce the law, and for the country to follow suit,” Rep. Brad ShermanBradley (Brad) James ShermanOvernight Defense & National Security — Congress begins Afghanistan grilling US says about 1,500 citizens remain in Afghanistan How Congress can advance peace with North Korea MORE (D-Calif.), whose district neighbors the district where the shooting took place, tweeted Thursday.
Officials have confirmed that the #ThousandOaks shooter used a high-capacity magazine that Californians voted to ban in 2016. The @NRA filed a lawsuit to block the law. It's time for California to uphold the will of the voters, enforce the law, and for the country to follow suit.— Rep. Brad Sherman (@BradSherman) November 8, 2018
The CRPA sent its condolences to the shooting’s victims but refused to accept blame.
“We mourn the loss of life, while recognizing and accepting responsibility for safely owning a gun. But we refuse to take the blame that is commonly misplaced on those of us who simply wish to protect ourselves, our families, or to shoot for sport,” it said in a statement.
“We do not know what was going on in the mind of the terrorist who took the lives of the innocent victims in Thousand Oaks last night. But we do know one thing for sure: punishing the rest of us isn’t the answer.”