Video Report By Shannon Handy, Reporter - bio | email
CHULA VISTA (CBS 8) - In the wake of the Connecticut school shooting, the Chula Vista City Council is calling for measures designed to reduce gun violence.
Adopting a resolution designed to reduce gun violence nationwide came without resistance at Chula Vista City Council chambers Tuesday.
With a unanimous vote, members officially called on the federal government to pass the Fix Gun Checks Act. It would require a background check for every gun sale and ensure people who are prohibited from buying guns are listed in the national instant criminal background check system.
Mayor Cheryl Cox says while the system has blocked 1.9 million illegal gun purchases over the past two decades, there are flaws and missing records.
"It's because of the loopholes that we contend as the mayors against illegal guns that perhaps someone had a gun and used it illegally because no one realized they shouldn't be able to purchase one," Cox said.
That includes, she says, people with mental illness.
Tuesday's vote comes on the heels of the Newtown massacre, and actions taken by other cities and states as a result. New York's governor just signed into law a new package of gun regulations, including strengthening rules that keep the mentally ill from owning firearms. On Monday night, the Del Mar City Council approved a resolution asking the fairground board to end its contract with Crossroads of the West. The company has operated gun shows in Del Mar for the past 22 years.
"We need to do more as far as keeping military weapons out of the hands of dangerous criminals and people who are mentally ill," Chula Vista Police Chief David Bejarano said.
Bejarano says he backs the council, and is already working on doing more. He's already started planning a gun buy-back program, and hopes other parts of the county will follow suit.
"We believe that's another step as far as any gun we remove off the street. It could lead to saving a life," he said.