The Washington Post

How the gun debate is playing out among some of California’s congressional delegation after Friday’s shooting

Rep. Lois Capps,(D), the U.S. representative from Santa Barbara, pays her respects on Sunday, May 25, at a makeshift memorial in front of the IV Deli Mart, where part of Friday night’s mass shooting took place. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

The tug-of-war over gun-control efforts and gun rights is also playing out in Congress as midterm election campaigns efforts gather steam. Campaign officials for Tony Strickland, a former California assemblyman, who is now running as a Republican candidate for the state’s 25th Congressional District, launched a robocall to constituents the day after the shootings in Santa Barbara.

“Tony has been a longtime supporter of the right for citizens to keep and bear arms and will continue to oppose and actively fight key legislation that would take away our Second Amendment rights to bear arms,” the campaign call said, adding that Strickland has a “lifetime A rating from the NRA.”

Strickland’s campaign said the robocall was pre-scheduled and was not in response to the shootings.

In Congress, the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday passed an amendment to boost funding – from $19.5 million to $78 million – to assist states that have laws on the books requiring background checks on gun purchasers. The measure passed with a voice vote, and then on Thursday was adopted by a vote of 260 to 145.

Rep. Lois Capps, (D-Calif.), whose district includes Isla Vista and the University of California, Santa Barbara, campus, called for universal background checks, limits on high-capacity magazines, increased school safety, and stronger gun trafficking penalties during a speech on the House floor Thursday. “Tucson. Carson City. Seal Beach. Atlanta. Oakland. Seattle. Aurora. Oak Creek. Minneapolis. Newtown. Washington Navy Yard. Santa Monica. Ft. Hood,” Capps said. “How many more of these mass shootings do we need before we act?”

Several members of Congress issued statements after Rodger’s rampage, calling for stricter gun-control laws, but only the background check funding boost has been formally proposed. Members of Congress who are known for their support of gun rights have not issued any public statements this week.

U.S. Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) said he will renew calls for legislation that would provide a nationwide, mandated criminal background check for gun buyers that would also ban ownership for those convicted of violent crimes. He also hopes that someday Congress will embrace measures like those being proposed now in California.

“States are laboratories and if this is successful in California, we could bring it nationwide,” he said in an interview. “We need a nationwide solution.”

Kimberly Kindy is a government accountability reporter at The Washington Post.



Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments
Most Read



Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Your Three. Videos curated for you.
Play Videos
What can babies teach students?
Unconventional warfare with a side of ale
A veteran finds healing on a dog sled
Play Videos
A fighter pilot helmet with 360 degrees of sky
Is fencing the answer to brain health?
Scenes from Brazil's Carajás Railway
Play Videos
How a hacker group came to Washington
The woman behind the Nats’ presidents ‘Star Wars’ makeover
How hackers can control your car from miles away
Play Videos
Philadelphia's real signature sandwich
Full disclosure: 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1 ghoul
Europe's migrant crisis, explained
Next Story
Kimberly Kindy · May 30, 2014

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.