REASONS FOR RECOMMENDATION
On February 14, 2018, seventeen people were killed and fourteen people were injured in a shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. This horrific incident marked the third mass shooting in this country in the past four months. According to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, 315 people are shot each day on average nationwide, and 93 of those people die from their injuries. In Santa Clara County alone, four people have already been killed in shootings this year.
Other jurisdictions throughout California have adopted ordinances restricting the possession and/or sale of firearms on publicly owned property.
The County is committed to protecting the safety of its residents and everyone who uses County facilities. An ordinance prohibiting the sale or possession of firearms on County-owned or -leased property would reduce the risk of gun violence in County facilities and help blunt the devastating impact of gun violence on our communities, without infringing on gun owners’ rights to lawfully own or use firearms on private property or in homes.
County Counsel should also explore the extent to which such an ordinance can be applied to property owned or leased by any of the County’s special districts (e.g., the fire districts).
The County has engaged in a number of initiatives to reduce the risk of gun violence, including a series of gun buy-back events. At two County-funded gun buy-back events in 2013, gun owners relinquished 1,726 guns. Additional buy-back events were also held in 2014, 2015, and 2016. Although state law prohibits the possession of firearms and certain other weapons within any local public building and at public meetings, with certain exceptions, the County does not currently prohibit the possession or sale of firearms on County-owned or -leased property more broadly.