California is one of 20 states that allow gun restraining orders, in which the government can take away a person’s firearm if they’re believed to be a threat to themselves or others. The California program, known as the Armed and Prohibited Persons System, boasts a relatively small staff of law enforcement officials, which has made it difficult to keep up with the growing list.
As America awakens from the COVID-19 pandemic, incidents of gun violence like Wednesday’s mass shooting in San Jose at a VTA rail yard will be on the rise across the country, a leading expert on gun violence warned.
Dr. Garen Wintemute, who leads UC Davis Health’s Violence Prevention Research Program, told CapRadio's Insight that the rise in ghost guns threatens California’s recent progress in reducing gun violence.
Dr. Garen J. Wintemute, who directs the Violence Prevention Research Program at the University of California, Davis, Medical Center in Sacramento, said he lost grant money after the Dickey Amendment was enacted. In the two decades that followed, he said, his work has been supported by the state of California, by foundations, as well as the N.I.H., which was not specifically named in the Dickey Amendment, and the Justice Department. He said he had also spent a little more than $2 million of his own money to continue the work.
Nicole Kravitz-Wirtz, an assistant professor who researches violence prevention at the University of California, Davis said that the COVID-19 pandemic likely played a major role in contributing to the rising violence.