When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns. So goes the saying that aptly describes Oakland California, the murder capital of California. A bill introduced by Assemblyman Rob Bonta, D-Alameda, would exempt Oakland from a state law that prohibits cities from requiring gun owners to register their weapons with a city agency. Under such a waiver, Oakland could create more restrictive gun laws than the legislature, and even charge gun ownership fees. But will this stop the gun based crime?
[gravityform id=32 title=false description=false]
According to Will Kane at SFGate, both Oakland Councilwoman Schaff and Police Chief Bonta “acknowledged that such regulations would do little to stop criminals who already own illegal guns.”
John Donohue, a professor at Stanford Law School who has studied the effects of gun control on crime, said such a law, if passed, would have little immediate impact on crime.
“I still like the idea of the knowledge you could get from the registry,” Donohue said. “But whether it is a cost-effective, immediate crime solver, I am still a little dubious.”
Most gangs and criminals, Donohue said, “are either sending someone to Nevada to pick (guns) up, or they’re meeting up with someone who went there for them.”
One gun owner in Oakland wasn’t enthusiastic about the possibility.
“As somebody who lives in a dangerous part of Oakland, I think what the City Council is likely to do with this is create an additional cost on my right to self-defense,” said Max Allstadt, 37, a carpenter who lives in West Oakland. “The Oakland City Council is responsible for my need for self-defense through years of incompetent crime fighting policy. They created my need for self-defense.”