Sunnyvale is a town outsiders know for its many corporate headquarters (including Yahoo!), the approximate location of the Blue Cube (a former military satellite tracking station) and, well, for being sunny.
But last week, Sunnyvale got nationwide attention for something else, becoming the latest focus in the debate over how to regulate firearms. Sunnyvale voters approved Measure C, which requires reporting of ammunition sales and bars ownership of ammo magazines that can hold more than 10 rounds. It also requires gun owners to keep their guns under lock and key and to report the theft or loss of firearms within 48 hours.
Sunnyvale Mayor Tony Spitaleri pushed for Measure C, and says he was motivated by a desire to prevent a repeat of last December’s grade-school massacre in Newtown, Conn.
“That made me angry,” Spitaleri told KQED Newsroom’s Scott Shafer (see the video above), and made him determined to do something about it. He says he’s certain Sunnyvale can make a difference.
“I liken it to the ban on plastic bags,” he said. “It started with one town, then it went to another town, and then it went to another town, and now in Santa Clara County we have no more plastic bags. It has to start somewhere, and no city, no entity, is immune from any of this at all.”
The National Rifle Association has served notice that it will go to court to block Measure C. Spitaleri says Sunnyvale is ready for that.
“We’re not backing down. We cannot afford to back down,” Spitaleri said. “We cannot lose any more children. We cannot have any more children taking weapons to school and hurting other children. It has to stop.”
KQED NEWSROOM is a weekly news magazine program on television, radio and online. Watch Fridays at 8 p.m. on KQED Public Television 9, listen on Sundays at 6 p.m. on KQED Public Radio 88.5 FM and watch on demand here.