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.newsroom-115x65

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.

  • Brian Stanley

    Of course you won’t back down. You have Bloomberg’s money, and are a puppet mayor, enacting legislation that has no proven effect on gun crime, just a price tag for taxpayers

    • hubristick

      No proven effect?

      There haven’t been any gun massacres in CA on the scale of the 101 California St. since the gun laws enacted because of it.

      That was 1993.

      Proof enough…

      • JVu

        The nature of firearms has not changed in ways this measure addresses. So, then why do we need more laws if current law is proving to be effective?

      • Ross

        And I haven’t seen any vampires since i’ve been wearing this garlic necklace around…

      • Kevin Liu

        again correlation is not causation. mass
        shootings have also declined since the federal assault weapons ban
        expired in 2004. by your logic that is that evidence that not restricting assault weapons
        is the cause of the decline in mass shootings.

      • MenotYou

        So you think the Lax Airport shooting was on the scale of 101 because of the laws? Explain to me your logic on that one. What law stopped the shooter from killing more than one person?

      • MenotYou

        1800 people are murdered every year in California. More than any other state.

  • Brian Stanley

    What I must ask is this: What long term study do you have that anything you proposed, will actually lower deaths in a mass murder, in a State like CA, with already strict laws?

    • srcarruth

      so all laws require academic verification of absolute efficacy? seems like a pretty high standard to apply to some laws and not others.

      • JVu

        Considering how this measure is redundant with existing CA law, seeing how this measure is not based off of Sandyhook Tragedy (opposed to what Mayor Spitaleri claims), and that less than 1% of Adults with access to guns in this country will ever use a gun for homicide or suicide, yes. We’d like to see how these laws will help. The only thing I see this measure helping is for a future campaign saying “hey, at least I did something in the name of preventing gun violence”.

        • srcarruth

          I guess a majority of those who voted disagree with your assessment of the situation and are willing to proceed without the level of proof you desire

          • JVu

            Disagree? I’d sooner say the average voter just doesn’t know.

            For instance, lock requirements and 10 round capacity limits. Both are already required and have been for many years before this came about.

            I’ll give it to your mentioned majority that they are good willed…and ignorant of the reality of this issue.

    • hubristick

      The drop in mass murder rates every year since the 555 California St massacre.

      That a long enough study for you?

      • Ross

        Then why do we need more gun laws?

      • Kevin Liu

        citation needed. correlation is not causation. i think i need to mention that mass shootings have also declined since the federal assault weapons ban expired in 2004. is that evidence that not restricting assault weapons is the cause of the decline in mass shootings? or maybe its that restrictions on firearms do nothing to legislate crazy?

        • Andrew

          According to a Mother Jones timeline, there were 19 mass shootings between 1982 and the time the assault weapons ban was put into place in 1994. From 1994 until 2004, when the ban expired, there was a similar amount of mass shootings — 16 — but there were nine in 1999 alone.

          What is striking is that in the eight years since this ban expired, there have been 27 shootings in the United States. Since the ban has expired, there has been a significant uptick in these events in a shorter amount of time.

          This is from an article printed about a year ago, there have been more since.

          • Kevin Liu

            incorrect. because many shootings between 2004 and now did not involve weapons that were covered in the assault weapons ban. for example, virginia tech happened outside the restrictions of the AWB.

          • MenotYou

            What ban? Oh you mean the ban that could be circumvented by removing enough of the “offensive” accessories like bayonet lugs or pistol grips? You could still get “sporter” AR’s and AK’s. The same exact firearms were available they just couldn’t have 3 or more cosmetic features such as bayonet lugs, flashhiders, folding or telescopic stocks, and pistol grips. You could buy AR’s with just pistol grips and they were perfectly legal. Edumakate yourself.

      • Taed Wynnell

        I think that you mean 101 California Street. (

      • MenotYou

        What study? You simply made a statement backed by nothing. Guess you didn’t hear about the airport shooting in California. Did the new laws stop the attacker? No. A police officer who was already onsite did. Hmm wonder if that would work at schools. I know it is crazy to think we should protect our children with law enforcement but it might be worth a shot.

  • JVu

    Let’s see how Sandyhook and Current CA Law stacks with Measure C

    On Measure C:
    1) [Report of Loss/Theft within 48 hours] Any law abiding and responsible gun owner will notify law enforcement immediately anyway. In the event of, say, a burglary, you can count on a resident to call 911 immediately, checking on family and valuable property (including guns), and putting that all in the report. Besides, the original owner was murdered before the guns were taken to Sandyhook.

    2) [Locked Storage of Firearms] Already required under CA law.

    3) [10 round magazine capacity, w/ exceptions] Already required under CA law. 10+ magazines are allowed only if owned by law enforcement or have been grandfathered in over a decade ago.

    4) [Logging/Tracking of Ammo sales] Again, the original owner was murdered before the guns were taken to Sandyhook. Non of the stuff used in the massacre was purchased by the perpetrator.

    Mayor Spitaleri wants to prevent another Sandyhook? Do the homework first, thanks.

    • Renee

      Taking any measures is better than doing nothing. The laws that have passed certainly can’t hurt. The NRA needs to back off.

      • JVu

        “Doing something is better than doing nothing” is such a flimsy argument, especially when that “something” is not based on reality. The NRA (who I do not approve of) would not need to exist if law makers actually did their homework and elected officials kept their oaths of office.

      • Kevin Liu

        actually you’d probably do more harm than good seeing as what you’d be doing is giving criminals the high ground since they have no intention of obeying the laws you legislate against them. all you’re doing is handicapping law abiding citizens who would actually turn in their magazines.

      • MenotYou

        How about doing something that will work like putting law enforcement in schools. It worked at the Lax Airport. The shooter only killed one person before being shot by law enforcement who were already on site. The shooter had an AR with high cap mags despite the laws. I guess people who want to go on shooting sprees are not willing to obey the law. How strange.

    • burner

      Do you live in Sunnyvale?

      • JVu

        Next door in San Jose. Gun related crime is worse here, and this measure won’t help our problem of, say, budget cuts to the SJPD and SJPD officers resigning at alarming rates. But at this point, I’m just venting.

  • LoveInsanity

    If the community voted for this, then the NRA needs to mind their own business. Sunnyvale is a highly educated community, not some bass ackwards podunk town. They know better than the NRA.

    • Ross

      So when highly educated California voted for Prop 8, outlawing gay marriage, everybody should have just minded their own business?

      • Californian77

        Yes. I don’t agree with Prop 8, but democracy is about elections and honoring their results.

        • Ross

          Well it’s a good thing we live in a Constitutional Republic then. Regardless of the education level of voters, the tyranny of the majority is something to be avoided.

        • LoveInsanity

          Prop 8 put civil rights up for a vote. That puts the interpretation of law into the hands of unqualified decision makers. Tyranny of the majority applies.

          Measure C does not infringe on the right to bear arms.

      • Kevin Liu

        Ross has a point. i can tell you from experience, being the victim of a single home intrusion will change your mind about firearms. when the police are more than 10 minutes away, a firearm will be your best friend when you’ve got strange people with ill intentions in your home.

      • Andrew

        Highly educated people didn’t vote for Prop 8. Very stupid people did.

        • MenotYou

          I guess the stupid people came out to vote again 😀

      • LoveInsanity

        There’s quite a demographic difference between a small city and the most populous state in the union. And obviously Sunnyvale didn’t have millions of dollars pour in from out of state interest groups in order to get their community law passed.

        Also, this measure does not prevent law abiding people from protecting themselves. This measure does nothing to prevent gun ownership. Home invasion stories are moot and do not apply.

        Sunnyvale has a crime rate half of the US average across the board. It’s not like they don’t know what they’re doing.

        • MenotYou

          “Sunnyvale has a crime rate half of the US average across the board. It’s not like they don’t know what they’re doing.” And you think their low crime rate has to do with local ordinances? The low crime rate was before they passed these laws. Crime has little to do with local laws and everything to do with education, economic opportunities, and family structure. Oakland CA and New Orleans have similar crime rates but vastly different gun laws.

          How will these measures prevent gun violence?
          Do you honestly believe that someone will lock away their guns because its the law? If protecting their children and other children from harm, being charged with child endangerment, and being charged with negligent manslaughter isn’t reason enough to lock up their guns you think they will because they could be charged with improper storage?

          Keeping a log of ammunition sales will only make it easier to know where the shooter got their ammo. It is reactive not proactive. It won’t stop the shooting from occurring in the first place.

          When someones firearm is stolen does law enforcement launch a manhunt? No. So this will only let them know that the gun recovered at the crime scene is stolen. No prevention there.

          But hey, at least now those children will be able to disarm the attacker when he changes magazines…provided he doesn’t just whip out a pistol(they always seem to have one as back up) and stop any would be hero.

          How do you stop an shooter? What stopped the airport shooter from killing more than one person? There were armed police officers onsite. Put cops in schools.

          • LoveInsanity

            Lots of speculation. I’d be interested in seeing what happens when these laws actually get passed and, like the mayor says, catch on and spread.

    • telemarkskier

      “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.”
      How is this related to Prop-8? That was a case of the majority violating the rights of the minority. Minority rights are protected by the constitution. By making a sensible law to restrict the number of bullets, which right of the minority is affected?

      • Ross

        How does this not violate the rights of gun-owners (also a protected class in the constitution)? This is one more in a LONG string of laws that slowly chips away at gun ownership in America, without doing anything to “keep us safe”.

        • Ross

          Let’s make a law to register black people, and do background checks on them when they buy food. How does this violate the rights of the minority?

    • davidvoth

      Many Sunnyvale residents own firearms. Check out the Sunnyvale Rod and Gun Club’s Web site. The range is located in Cupertino. It’s well maintained and gets a lot of use.

  • I would recommend several progressive towns to gang together and bankrupt the NRA through its own spurious lawsuits. A small town in Iowa overrules an attempt by Koch Brothers. These things CAN be done.

    • No

      Worked out so well for Chicago and DC… wait, they’re forced to pay restitution to the NRA after losing their battles.. .

      • You assume every single battle is the same. You also assume that Sunnyvale will give up, or that even if Sunnyvale gives up, that is where things end. The victories NRA might have had were before Gabby Giffords, Newtown and Colorado.


      think thru what you just advocated? also keep in mind that the NRA has made millions in settlements from cities and states on bad laws.

      • It cannot and will not continue for ever. I know exactly what I am advocating. Sunnyvale is neither a poor city nor devoid of passionate supporters, myself included. Either way, I think the NRA’s days of putting kids at risk are numbered.

  • Kevin Liu

    I’m sure the murders and criminals will all be lining up to turn in their UNTRACEABLE magazines that hold more than 10 rounds because you told them it is illegal.

    • LoveInsanity

      Tell us more about the crime and murder rates in Sunnyvale.

      • Stephen

        Tell us more on the cost of living and restraints on development which insure that no “undesirable” people can afford can afford to live there. No to mention the cops who will interrogate anyone who dares to walk down El Camino with the wrong skin color.

        • LoveInsanity

          The tech industry is in Sunnyvale. Employees generally like to live close to work. Wealthy communities exist. Poor communities exist. What’s your point? Sur La Table needs a certain demographic to thrive just like Big Lots does.

      • LilMountain

        Hmm… so are you perhaps suggesting no change in guns law is needed then?

        • LoveInsanity

          I see nothing wrong with a community voting for what they consider to be preventative measures if that’s what they want.

          • Gray Wolf

            Even if it violates the civil rights of others? So if a community wanted to prohibit gay marriage in their community, that would be OK with you?

          • LoveInsanity

            Of course not. This measure isn’t violating anyone’s civil rights. This measure is not discriminating against anyone based on race, religion, gender, creed, sexual orientation, etc.

        • Gray Wolf

          I believe what these statistics suggest is that most violence including gun violence occurs in the inner cities and that if you want to reduce violence the best approach would be to attack the problems of poverty.

      • MenotYou

        Tell us about the crime and murder rates in Oakland and how California law has made a difference.

        Sunnyvale 5.4% of the population below the poverty line.

        Oakland 19.4% of the population and 16.2% of families are below the poverty line.

        Same state same laws vastly different crime rates.

        Sunnyvale murder rate 2.1 per 100,000

        Oakland murder rate 26.3 per 100,000

      • reuvenavram

        Crime and Murder in Sunnyvale are WAY UP ever since the City started caring more about PLASTIC BAG BANS and less about crime.

  • JHo1029

    Did they ban Jerry Miculek?

  • Ross

    Great reporting here, just interview the guy who promoted the measure, and don’t get anything from the other side. Maybe reach out to Steve Sarette:

  • Anon 415

    How will this Measure C make the community safer?

    When was the last time you remembered a criminal obeying the law?

    • Andrew

      Then why have any laws? Criminals won’t follow then anyway. You are smart.

      • MenotYou

        Laws are their to punish the criminals after the fact. What we need is prevention. You know, like putting law enforcement in schools to prevent the shooter from killing kids. I know that sounds crazy but it worked at the Lax Airport. The shooter wasn’t stopped by California law. He was stopped by law enforcement who were onsite.

        • DavidsComments


          You said “Laws are their to punish the criminals after the fact.” I really disagree with your initial premise. Laws are to alert people to the rules in advance. Remember Hammurabi’s Code? The whole idea of writing down the laws instead of ruling by decree after the fact was a huge step forward for civilization. One thing that differentiates the US from many other countries is our cultural respect for the rule of law. We may not like some laws, but we all expect everyone else to play by the same rules.

    • waraji

      Potential criminals are subject to inconvenience just like everybody else.

    • DavidsComments

      The point of this measure is to make it harder for criminals to steal guns from legal owners. Where else do you think the criminals get their weapons?

      • Teets Jones

        They get them from Eric Holder…

  • Nigel

    @JVu. The less than 1% of people you say with access to guns, commit homicide or suicide, still makes that in a country of over 300million people, 3 million people who WILL murder or suicide.
    @ Kevin Lui. These laws aren’t directly aimed at criminals, only as a by-product of reduced access to guns and ammo. Criminals DON’T use guns to go on mass murder rampages at schools, shopping malls etc. they use them to target each other and carry out their activities. These laws are aimed at people who have decided they have had enough of society and want to vent their anger/hatred and take as many people out as possible in what is obviously a suicide act.
    In a country where more Americans are killed by Americans than Americans killed globally by Al Qaeda & other extremists, it shows you always blame other people for their actions but never blame yourselves for your own.

    • JVu

      Numbers: According to Bloomberg’s group (a major gun control advocate) gun related deaths run just above and below 30,000/year, since the 70’s, peaking past 35,000 during the early 90’s and falling back below 30k before year 2000.

      Now, giving that 5% of Americans have access to guns (15 million, a underestimate in percentage even in the strictest of areas like Chicago, DC or LA), it comes to more like 0.2% of this 5% will commit homicide or suicide. To put things in perspective, Alaska has an access rate of over 50%, yet their gun-death rate does not increase in proportion to that.

      Now, 35,000/year is a large loss of life, don’t get me wrong. But a majority of them are suicides. How does Measure C address suicides? Magazine capacity limits, ammo registration, lock requirements and requirement of theft/loss reporting does not do anything for this that current law is already doing. It may curb crime a little bit, but it seems you believe this bill is targeted for the next mass shooter (a VERY rare occurrence in the scope of things). Would it be more practical then, with all of this, to focus on mental health? For what it sets out to prevent, the impracticality of this measure is like trying to catch a fly with a tennis racket.

      • Nigel

        Mental health is always a good thing to focus on, without a shadow of a doubt, but in a country that has the absolute basic level of health care, let alone mental health care, you know what the chances of that happening are…..0%, so another approach has to be taken.

        Suicide in this issue though is not the main player as you don’t need a gun to kill yourself – though it makes it easier, but in a suicidal act that involves vengeance on others, your not going to take out many people without the use of a gun.

        Thankfully, yes, these events are rare, but that is extremely cold comfort to those who have suffered from these events and I don’t think you would be too well received by them with your kind words of it’s “a VERY rare occurrence in the scope of things, especially given actual percentages of people with access to guns”.

        True, these measures are inadequate in trying to solve issues of gun crime, but they are on the cusp of what is just, possibly acceptable to the public.

        Magazine Capacity Limits: Are you going to engage in a round of ‘Call of Duty’ with someone who pulls a gun – NO – so you don’t need a military grade magazine.

        Ammo registration & Theft/Loss reporting: Are you going to sell that ammo to someone if it can be traced back to you – NO. Even it’s stolen or you’re forced to hand it over, it’s in your interest to report it, otherwise you’re going to get implicated. Saying, ” oh yeah, it got nicked” won’t cut it. It forces personal accountable – something people like to forget about.

        Lock requirements: No brainer – ” oh yeah, Little Johnny found my gun in the drawer and shot his sister playing cowboys and Indians, but it was an accident.” – and that’s ok?

        Yes, if you’re involved in a home invasion, having your gun locked up can be the matter of life and death, but chances are, they see you with a gun, they’ll shoot you anyway, that’s if you’ve had the chance to get to it in the first place.They are more on edge and hostile than you and more likely to panic, shoot then run.

        These events happen all around the world, but not on the scale, frequency and with the weaponry used as in the US.
        Unfortunately, quite often, it takes personal loss to question why there weren’t sufficient laws in place to help prevent these events, but then it’s too late.
        We will never eradicate gun crime, but it can hindered. If we do nothing, that’s like leaving it up to God, and he didn’t come to the rescue at Newtown, Virginia Tech, Columbine…….the list goes on, did he.

        • JVu

          For clarity, I will address each paragraph in order, beginning each of my responses by quoting the first line for the sake of making a reference point. If I have any other thoughts to add afterwards, they will be written below a line. So, here I go.

          “Mental health is always a good thing to focus on[…]”
          I disagree with the idea that the USA cannot get an accessible Mental health care system in place, but I’ll grant you that. Mental health does not need to be maintained solely by doctors, pharmacies and insurance systems. Granted that there are people who do indeed have chemistry and genetics that make them more prone to depression and other dysfunctions, whatever happened to patience and understanding? Take away the guns, and you will still have kids and adults who feel othered, alone, and even resentful (Virginia Tech, Columbine, LAX). Emotional health has a large part in mental health, and it’s not up to the professionals to make sure that is taken care of. But I’ll stop here before I go on a Mr.Rogers Tangent.

          “Suicide in this issue though is not the main player[…]”
          Suicide is the biggest player in gun deaths as they account for the majority of them. So, addressing the motives for suicide will not only reduce gun deaths, but tragic death in general and may even have a positive mental/emotional effect on the rest of given communities in general. As for people who go out and do mass shootings, it is often a dangerous mix of brain structure and chemistry found comon in psychotics and an act of revenge or some form of self-perceived justice

          “Thankfully, yes, these events are rare[…]”
          I may be called cold, yes. But it does a disservice to the dead to pass ineffective legislation in the name of their victim hood.

          “True, these measures are inadequate in trying to solve[…]”
          What is acceptable to the public only means as much as how well the public is informed and motivated. As I stated before elsewhere on this page, Measure C is redundant in so many ways to current law of that area and State. Given it’s writing, it shows how ill informed the politicians are on this issue.

          “Magazine Capacity Limits:[…]”
          The 10 limit has already in place fro over two decades. If anything, this part of Measure C shows a lack of knowledge with existing law. And No, I don’t expect to a regular gun owner to go all Call of Duty. But when was 10 the magic number? Why not New York’s 7 limit? Why not just 1? And if the design of “military style weapons” is to “kill as many people as quickly as possible”, then why do street cops have them? Why do my University cops have them? 17-round Glocks and 30 round AR-15s? Because even the cops know they are better suited for defense and will not want to be short-stopped by a 10-round limit in a life/death situation.

          “Ammo registration & Theft/Loss reporting:[…]”
          Maybe you’ve known someone who had their car stolen. Getting a gun stolen is arguably more stressful to the victim because of what can be done with the gun now that it’s in the wrong hands. Imagine, not only are you that much more vulnerable; the perp probably now knows where you live and knows of your more vulnerable state. This will be reported to authorities, and is not a matter any sane person would just shrug off. As for tracking of ammo sales, tell us, how would that be enforced? Serial numbers on the boxes? On the bullets? Just keep a record of how many bullets a person purchases? The only thing I see this preventing is an insurgency.

          “Lock requirements:[…]”
          Locks are have been required for gun storage for years now (maybe even over a decade; might check on that later). Just shows how much the lawmakers of Sunnyvale know. And judging by your tone, I’m guessing this is news to you too.

          “Yes, if you’re involved in a home invasion[…]”
          So, if both the resident and intruder are armed with guns, the intruder will be more inclined to kill. Therefore, the intruder should be the only one with the possibility of being armed if safety is the resident’s best interest. That’s basically your argument here, and it doesn’t add up for many reasons. A), The mere option of realistically having a privately owned gun is an effective deterrent against intrusion. Any intruder would feel more confident in breaking into a NY home than a TX home. B), people do train with instructors who specialize in defensive gun training, often having military/police backgrounds. Sometimes, regular civilians are better shooters than the average cop (often reported by civilians who volunteer to play as criminals in police training. This is due to the surprisingly common low standards of police departments). C) As for responsible storage and accessibility, there are affordable means to store guns responsibly while having them accessible in seconds. (Speedvaults, biometric safes, etc.)

          “These events happen all around the world[…]”
          And Switzerland has more ammo and bigger guns per household than America can even dare to imagine. This is because of the Swiss Militia system. Yet, they are among the safest countries in the modern world. The question is not about gun access; it’s a question of the attitude towards violence, and what drives people to resort to it.


          All in all, I have come to believe that you do not know many gun owners. Maybe you have not even shot one yourself. This can be seen in your repeated expression of distrust with gun owners. I have suggested anti-LGBT people have lunch with LGBT instead of just judging and despising from a distance. Maybe you need a lunch with a gun owner.

          • Nigel

            firstly, I don’t distrust or despise gun owners , I’m not an anti-gun person, I have fired a wide range of guns, enjoyed it as a sport and feel gun ownership should not be banned.

            It is my decision not to have one.

            With that said, a typical response from people opposing your view is that we are ignorant and essentially bigoted.

            We are not.

            At least you can sensibly debate the subject without going on a 2nd Amendment rant and by the sounds of it, takes on board the responsibilities and duty of care of gun ownership, but not everyone does and that’s why these laws are there, to top up or reinforce existing laws.
            We all suffer from laws put in place because the few affect the responsible majority. I wish it wasn’t so, but it is.
            Using your own analogy, maybe you need to lunch with an irresponsible gun owner…………and don’t say you don’t know one, I’m sure there’s someone you think to yourself, “they shouldn’t have a car, let alone a gun”.

          • JVu

            You say you you are not antigun and have no distrust/despise for gun owners. But the way you paint irresponsible gun owners (who I acknowledge exist) with a big brush and posing to me as if I find this negligent behavior acceptable (which, for in of itself, I don’t), the way you act as if these measure bring new and working ideas to the table (which id doesn’t), and how you assume most people will just fumble and become prey in the case of using a gun for self defense only send me the vibe that you really do come off as ignorant and bigoted….

            But I’ll take your word that you really are not.

            Yes, it is true and unfortunate that an few terrible people can ruin something for a responsible majority, but I refuse to accept that without debate/discourse.

            No, I don’t know any irresponsible gun owners, at least not by acquaintance. I participate in clubs with hundreds of members and have yet to see the irresponsible gun owner you insist I must know. Sure, there have been fumbles by otherwise normally responsible ones, and they are receptive to correction. But yes, there are people I know who should not own cars, let alone guns. But you will never catch me saying “everyone needs to have a gun”

            I tell you, the discussion should be more about what drives people to the point where crime and/or suicide seems like a decent option and less about how easily one can get to a gun. Yes, there is a place for laws in order to discourage/punish irresponsible behavior that puts innocents and public at unacceptable risk. However, I refuse to be vilified and feared by common and unfounded opinion, and I dislike any legislation that passes that gives the illusion of action/activism without actually making a difference for the better.

          • Nigel

            Also, in reference to the cops and why they have such firepower. They are placed in a life/death situation nearly everyday (arguably not University cops) whereas you rarely face it.
            And using incredibly small numbers (proportionally) of highly capable people to justify your points is irrelevant, if all gun owners were at that level, there wouldn’t be this discussion going on and gun control would be a mute point.

          • JVu

            The amount of violence cops expose themselves to varies by neighborhood, yet it’s common in California to see a cruiser with an AR-15, even on university campuses (some people bird watch, I gun watch, so I see these things). And a majority of gun crimes are conducted with handguns (like, less than 3% are committed with long guns of ANY kind, according to FBI stats). So, it looks like the cops will never need long guns, but they are equipped with them.

            As for telling my my points are irrelevant due to proportionally small numbers, I’ll take that. So why are you advocating for impractical legislation in the anticipation of something that happens in “proportionality small numbers” like mass shootings? Heck, even Homicide? I already drew out my point that less than even 0.5% of people with access to guns will be involved in gun-related tragedy. Not everyone may be an ace shot, but at least the numbers show that a vast majority, if not nearly ALL, people with access to guns play safe. You are in no position to use the “small proportions” rebuttal.

  • BAMF

    The Sunnyvale elected measure is illegal by California state law, which states that only state laws can cover firearms, not local municipalities. Therefore, it will have an injunction put on it, then be thrown out by the courts. End of story. I’m not even commenting here on the right/wrong of it. It is just plain illegal due to state laws on this matter already.

    • LoveInsanity

      “Firearms” is broad. Are bullet and gun accessory sales also covered only under state firearm laws? State law doesn’t trump everything firearm related. One cannot simply waltz into any California town and open a gun store without obeying local laws related to gun stores.

      • CEONUPE

        many court cases establish the ammo and magazines which are required functional parts of many firearms are covered by it. this will be tossed by the court on first visit. the question is will the city use local tax $$$ to appeal it.

        The solution for those wanting laws like this is to have the state leg. pass a ban. if that’s what they want.

        Sorry but state preemption laws win here.

    • Dry Practice

      BAMF, this absolutely correct. Local jurisdictions cannot pass firearms laws on their own… regardless of elections, etc. This is specifically banned by CA statute. The elected official was just looking for a fight etc. Since people are spinning up for the next election cycle here in California, I would suggestion this guy is just trying to position himself to run for higher office. Of course in the process, the NRA is going to take the city to court, and the city will blow more cash on their attorney, etc. This isn’t rocket science. There are people who really believe in Gun Control. And then there are are people who grand stand to get political milage.

  • reuvenavram

    When is it OK to unlock a gun? If Trayvon Martin breaks into my house and tries to rape me, and I shoot him, will I be charged with having an unlocked gun?

    • DavidsComments

      It is OK when it is under your immediate and direct control.

      • Mark in Colorado

        In other words, if you have the luxury of time as someone is running towards you with a deadly weapon (you will not), you must first take your pistol out of the safe, and then attempt to protect yourself with it after you are assumedly already dead. Too bad they won’t track how many innocent people are killed due to this law.

        • DavidsComments

          Mark, If you have the time to pickup the weapon, release the safety, aim and fire a weapon when “someone is running towards you with a deadly weapon”, it is already under your immediate and direct control.

          • Mark in Colorado

            The point was that if my glock is in my nightstand, I’m breaking the law because my weapon is not under lock and key at that moment. If I choose to abide by the law, my chances of being able to defend myself against said scenario drop to 0. This will be challenged by the higher courts at some point I’m sure.

  • DavidsComments

    The gun defenders always argue that one cannot use laws to prevent criminals from obtaining weapons. Well, they are getting them from somewhere. If we assume that the weapon manufacturers are selling all of their inventory legally, then the weapons must be crossing into the hands of criminals further down stream in the supply chain. In other words, they are being stolen, or are being transferred in sham transactions with the original buyer.

    The Sunnyvale law requires legal gun owners to take responsible actions for their weapons. Just as drivers must take responsibility for their vehicles (and are subject to liability if it is stolen and then injures someone), gun owners must take responsibility for their weapons. That includes taking reasonable measures to keep them out of the hands of criminals and working with law enforcement if they are stolen.

  • CGA

    What would you expect from a bunch of uneducated idiots. They think that controlling everything is going to make it go away. Good Luck! Every criminal will be heading for their town because no one is going to protect the citizens from them. They aren’t going to report their (probably stolen or fraudulently obtained magazines, ammunition, and guns.

  • UnrepentantLib

    Remember that scene in “Breaking Bad” where Walt’s shopping for a black market gun to shoot Gus? And the dealer shows him a Smith and Wesson Chief’s Special revolver, which is more compact than usual because it only holds five shots instead of six. And Walt questions him about that and the guy says “If you can’t seal the deal with five, one more ain’t gonna help you.” In a real life and death self defense situation, what are the odds you’re even going to use all ten shots, much less thirty?

    • Mark in Colorado

      Cops that are issued the Glock 19 have 17 rounds in the gun, and another 2 spare magazines on their hip. I suggest that if the cops feel they need 51 bullets to deal with their own ‘life and death’ situations, it’s a good idea to have more than 5 to protect your own life with. The only 5 shot revolvers you’ll ever see a cop carrying would be their back up gun. Probably not the best idea to get your gun related education from Hollywood.

    • JVu

      In a high stress situation, people miss. Depending on one’s accuracy and caliber of use, it may take more than one shot to stop a dangerous person. In some of the worst cases, there may be multiple assailants. None of the above happens exclusively to cops. And besides, nobody ever walked away from a gun fight saying “I wish I had less ammo.”

  • mj6837

    Just like plastic bags….yeah, uh-huh…

  • davidvoth

    What nonsense. A section of the California Government Code gives the state exclusive power to regulate firearms. Many local ordinances have been passed, and then found to be unconstitutional in state courts.


Don Clyde

Don Clyde is an online producer, reporter and copy editor for KQED News. Before venturing into journalism, he worked as a medical device engineer and scientist for nearly a decade after earning a degree in physics from UC Berkeley. He loves travel, reading, living in Oakland, and most importantly, a good walk. Email him at or follow him @clydedon.

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