Campbell, California, a city with the highest crime rate in the county in which it is located, recently sought ways to help law enforcement fight gun violence and gun trafficking in the community. With the Law Center’s help, the City pursued two regulatory approaches:
1) requiring firearms dealers and ammunition sellers to obtain a local license and fulfill other basic safety requirements; and,
2) requiring firearms owners to report the loss or theft of a firearm to local law enforcement.
Law enforcement supported these measures and, despite the threat of lawsuits from the gun lobby, the City Council adopted them in September 2011.
HOW SAFETY WINS
Law enforcement officers now have a tool to ensure that firearms dealers and ammunition sellers in the city are complying with relevant laws. Campbell now requires a firearm owner to report the loss or theft of a firearm he or she possesses or owns to law enforcement. These types of laws make gun owners more accountable for their weapons and help law enforcement stop gun trafficking. A reporting requirement makes it more difficult for a gun trafficker to whom a crime gun has been traced to falsely claim the gun was lost or stolen in order to hide involvement in a crime. Reporting laws also help disarm persons who are ineligible to possess firearms by deterring a person who has fallen into a prohibited category from falsely claiming he or she no longer has the gun because it was lost or stolen. In addition, these laws help law enforcement return lost or stolen firearms to their law abiding owners.