Smile… You’re on Camera, San Jose

California Governor Gavin Newsom shares his reaction to two mass shootings over the weekend in Texas and Ohio during a press conference, Monday, August 5, 2019, at the California State Capitol in Sacramento. On his left is Mark Ghilarducci, the director of Cal OES and on his right is Xavier Becerra, Attorney General of California. Image via Sacramento Bee,

San Jose adopts new gun control measures

As if Californians didn’t have enough nonsense to put up with, San Jose is now mandating video and audio recording of all firearm purchases to authenticate ‘legality’ …

San Jose will be one of the few cities in the nation to require gun shops to record firearm purchases after a unanimous late-night vote Tuesday.

There have been 30,000 such purchases in the U.S. in the past year according to the Giffords Law Center, though it is unclear how many happened in San Jose.

I don’t trust the Giffords Law Center, nor their pawn they are trying to hoist upon us with the ATF Director nominee, Chipman.

I wonder if they’ll point out how many people were prosecuted and convicted for straw purchasing, which is feloniously illegal, and the San Jose Spotlight fails to note that the language is ‘attempted’ straw purchases?

Probably not, NPR noted back in 2015 that prosecuting straw purchases is very low on the priority list for LEO’s. Like failing a background check and following up on the 4473 to see if someone feloniously lied and was attempting to purchase or if the record is erroneous, ‘straw purchase’ is usually an add on charge when they need someone to go away for longer since they were associated with another crime. They’ll hit someone hard if they supplied a terrorist, like in San Bernardino, if they can get the charge to stick. But this isn’t really a top priority for enforcement when there are more current crimes and other events needing officers’ immediate attention.

I tend to agree with that, I would much rather a cop be helping cordon off and rescue at an accident scene than plodding away checking upon on ‘Jon Smith’ who put his SSN in wrong on his 4473 for the 10th time in 6 months and had the NICS system give him a denial, or spelled it ‘Jon’ instead of ‘John’ because he just does that sometimes because he prefers ‘Jon’ … I’ve worked for several FFL’s, I am in no way joking.

“We know a significant number of crooks and gangs get firearms through straw purchasing,” said Mayor Sam Liccardo. “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.”

Gonna ask the hard question here, “How?”

Gun shops in San Jose will be required to video and audio record all purchases to ensure each purchase is legal. Buying a firearm from or inside a residence would be prohibited.

How is requiring the new ordinance of recorded transactions, making dealers shell out for audio/video setups, ‘ensuring each purchase is legal’ if they complete the 4473 and background check? How are you going to enforce not transfering a firearm inside of a residence?

Do you comprehend the ease with which someone who already does not care about the transfer rules will also ignore this one? I doubt they know it is a rule, and they certainly don’t care.

Employees and owners will be required to question potential buyers to ensure they’re not looking to start a straw purchase. The ordinance will also require shops to display suicide prevention posters and perform at least one inventory check each year.

These are already the rules and best practices… the 4473 Form already asks this question…

“For obvious reasons, this issue is very important to me,” said Sarah Huff Brancato, whose son Michael Munns was the first homicide in San Jose in 2020. She called in to support the proposal.

So important that you were handed a stack of feel-good policy nonsense and asked if you would support it based upon an emotive manipulation of your personal tragedy? How stunning and brave. *We’re from the government and we are here to help intensifies*

The proposal follows calls for stricter gun control measures after the May 26 mass shooting at a VTA light rail yard in downtown San Jose left 10 dead, including the gunman. Liccardo’s office, however, has been working on gun safety measures for more than a year.

The council approved an initial draft of the ordinance in 2019, but implementation paused due to the pandemic. Chicago already has similar laws in place, and San Francisco almost adopted similar rules in 2015, but its last gun shop closed before the city could do so.

There we see the ultimate goal of such policies. Run the gun shops out of business by making their business prohibitively expensive beyond any possibility of sustainable living.

It’s “amazing” to me that California, home to every good-idea-fairy piece of hot garbage gun policy in the country and the most rabid of anti-gunners (including one rather famous example convicted of arms trafficking), and yet account for so much of the gun violence in the nation. They’re currently the top state for ‘unsolved’ mass shootings and the second in the nation for mass shootings overall. While Texas ranks first, Houston accounts for nearly as many mass shootings as California has unsolved mass shootings (Houston: 8, California: 9), that seems to be a local problem with the Houstonian area.
[as of 6/16/21]

Councilmember Dev Davis felt conflicted about the new measure because she grew up around guns and worried it might alienate lawful gun owners.

“I feel like I’m in the middle of this issue, and it’s a tough place to be in the middle because the issue has gotten so polarized in the past decade and decade and a half,” Davis said.

Like Davis, Councilmember Raul Peralez grew up around guns and shot recreationally, but said he always believed in stricter gun control measures.

Ah, ye olde tried and true false appeal to the authority of someone who ‘grew up around guns’, a phrase that makes instructors and good shooters cringe since it has as much value to safe handling and informed opinions as staying at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

“In addition to that history, I have always welcomed a more restrictive gun industry. And I’ve felt that way since I was a child,” Peralez said. “It’s really baffled me as to how this particular industry has been, in essence, untouchable in many places throughout the country.”

How many ideas that you ‘held when you were a child’ turned out to be totally bunk, totally wrong, and an utter steaming pile of nonsense? This one is too. Untouchable? This industry fights for its life daily, it is repressed with hostile and malicious intent by all the normal advertising avenues that products like vehicles and alcohol can use, and each and every event that can possibly be leveraged to try and put a stake through the heart of the gun industry is leveraged for everything it is worth, logical or not, every time it is offered to the anti-gun industry.

Yes, it is an industry, one of victim exploitation.

Gun rights activists say these regulations will restrict law-abiding firearm owners of their rights and will run gun shops out of the city.

With cause, see San Francisco.

“These are small businesses. It’s already hard enough to do business in the gun retail market,” Brian Wang, owner of the San Jose-based gun safety school Monarch Defense, told San José Spotlight. “But now the city of San Jose is taking arbitrary control, arbitrary schemes just to make life hard on these gun stores. It’s very clear they’re trying to take the last couple of gun stores in the city and just kill them.”

We see nothing in the proposed rule of recording transactions that speaks to how this is supposed to help? We see nothing that is supposed to help gun stores, not even a tax credit or write off from the city for the equipment. Businesses just have to eat the cost because a group or morons on a council who aren’t in the business said so.

Now, I’m not saying video and audio surveillance isn’t useful. I know plenty of stores who put it into practice so that, if in connection to an investigation or needing to review for loss prevention it can be reviewed, it can be. But we are talking about all the private footage of a store being legally accessible with no cause to the authorities to ‘check legality’ of transactions that are already heavily regulated on the federal and state levels for legality. If the transactions aren’t conducted legally the business can have their license pulled if the offense warrants it.

What exactly is video supposed to support for legally complete 4473 transfers that the form already does not cover? Are you putting every single store under suspicion of being complicit in illegal transfers and fudging the paperwork? What proof do you have to level such an accusation against an entire industry? This violates the hell out of all sorts of privacy and business protections that other industries enjoy.

Imagine making every pharmacy put every single prescription transaction on audio and video for the review of the state to be certain that all the transfers are ‘legal’ and are not contributing to prescription drug abuse and addiction… oh wait, HIPAA. But the literal 2nd Amendment to the US Constitution should be violated to hell and back to ‘make sure it is legally done’ and all that jazz…

The VTA mass shooter, a 57-year-old employee, had three 9mm pistols and 32 high-capacity magazines, according to the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office. Authorities said the shooter fired 39 bullets. The magazines, which held more than 10 rounds, are illegal in California.

So none of your current crop of garbage.. I’m sorry, firearm safety laws, works so what is video supposed to do? Are you going to zoom in and see the ‘illegal’ magazines being transferred? Is that the plan? Why should we expect any better rate of enforcement or prosecution against prohibited individuals under the new rule than we have now?

Convenient for me that they point out how many pistols and magazines the shooter had while simultaneously making it obvious that the attack could have been completed exactly the same way with three California compliant pistols and one… count it, one spare magazine of legal capacity or ONE pistol with 4 CA compliant magazines.

The three guns were legally obtained and registered, according to FBI Special Agent in Charge Craig Fair.

Huh, so video wouldn’t have done anything. It wasn’t a straw purchase. Why the rule change again? We must extra make sure the legally obtained and registered pistols were extra legally obtained and registered just in case that somehow prevents one person from doing something horrific?

“Even preventing one of these straw purchases from happening would be a success,” said Councilmember David Cohen. “I’m excited we’re thinking of creative ideas here in San Jose. That we’re not scared or shying away from this debate. That we’re using the opportunity to try new things to make our communities safer.”

Keith is the Editor-in-Chief of GAT Marketing Agency, Inc. A USMC Infantry Veteran and Small Arms and Artillery Technician, Keith covers the evolving training and technology from across the shooting industry. A Certified Instructor since 2009, he has taught concealed weapons courses in the West Michigan area in the years since and continues to pursue training and teaching opportunities as they arise.