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Jul 1, 2014 9:34 PM by Charlie Misra, KSBY News

Santa Barbara County leaders support bill to combat gun violence

With the tragic events of Isla Vista still fresh in their minds, Santa Barbara County supervisors decided Tuesday to support a proposed state bill in the fight against gun violence.

The board voted 4-0 in favor of Assembly Bill 1014. Chairman Steve Lavagnino abstained from voting.

The board had several options. They could have opposed it, elected to watch it, or taken no advocacy position whatsoever, but the board decided to be a voice of support for stricter gun legislation.

Six people were killed and another seven were injured when Elliot Rodger went on a violent rampage in Isla Vista on May 23.

Just five weeks after the mass murders happened in their own backyard, county leaders approved a bill that gives law enforcement a tool to deal with people who pose a risk to themselves or others by having access to a gun.

"This kind of temporary restraining order and the processes that have been built into this law make sense to me as a district attorney," said Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley. "And I think you should strongly support it."

"The authorities have to have the way to deal with people that, they don't have today to be able to take those arms out of the hands of the people that shouldn't have them," said Santa Barbara County Supervisor Peter Adam.

We spoke with some people who live in Santa Maria about how they feel about the bill.

"There should be more open conversations about gun legislation," said county resident Chris Hume. "Especially gun violence, and how to limit that in our community. Any kind of conversation about how to limit gun violence in general is probably a better thing."

"Everyone has the right to bear arms," said county resident Katherine Favorite. "And I do believe strongly that if that law is passed, it's a good thing. Because people that don't have the responsibility or the mental capacity to own a gun or use it responsibly shouldn't have one."

Chairman Lavagnino was the only person who abstained from voting. He said it's a well-intentioned bill, but it also could be abused and it's "inherently dangerous" to try to take someone's weapons away from them.

A letter will go to the authors of the bill, Das Williams and Nancy Skinner. The letter then could be used to generate more support for the bill.

Assembly Bill 1014 passed out of the public safety policy committee in the state senate last week and has been moved over to appropriations. The bill's next stop after that would be the Senate floor.



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