Weapons in San Bernardino Shooting Obtained Legally
There has been much talk among California lawmakers and citizens in the wake of the San Bernardino massacre. In a state with some of the strictest gun laws, it shocked many that the weapons used were in the hands of anyone, much less a couple who have been labeled terrorists. According to reports, the weapons used were purchased legally due to a loophole in California’s ban on assault weapons.
The two long guns used in the mass shooting were purchased legally in the state. The person or dealer who sold them has not been identified publicly as of yet. How the two shooters obtained the weapons is being investigated because they were not the original purchasers of the firearms.
Two of the weapons that were used were a Smith & Wesson M&P15 and a DPMS A-15. Both are considered legal in California because they have a button mechanism that allows for the release of the magazines. This is known as the “bullet button loophole.” Without this loophole, or those mechanisms, the weapons would have been banned in the state.
Both guns were altered, according to police reports. The Smith & Wesson had been altered so that it worked as an automatic weapon, but the alteration failed. The DPMS had been altered to accept a larger magazine. The weapons had the power to penetrate walls and ballistic vests.
The reason that people are talking about these weapons, other than the crimes that were committed with them, is that a law that would have closed the loophole was shot down in 2014. People wonder if that law had been pushed through would the weapons still have been in the hands of these two terrorists.
What will happen as a result of the shootings is yet to be seen. One thing is certain: The deadly tragedy has reignited the battle between gun rights and gun control advocates in the state of California and across the nation.
Stephen Levine, is a Board Certified Specialist in Criminal Defense — an honor achieved by only the top criminal law attorneys in California. Mr. Levine has over 40 years of experience in criminal defense and family law serving Southern California, and is a highly regarded Super Lawyer as well as AV Rated attorney.