Elk Grove Citizens Offer Proactive, Vigilant Measures in Aftermath of Valentine's Day School Murders

February 22, 2018 |  

Last week's horrendous murders of 17 students at a Florida high school continues to be a topic of discussion throughout the nation and in communities like Elk Grove. 

One of the common reactions when these mass murders occur, whether it be at a school, workplace, or in a public place like a movie theater is something to the effect we never thought it could happen here. Elk Grove has been fortunate not to have been cursed with one of these slaughters, and none of us ever had to say we never thought it would happen here.

Even though we have been fortunate in that regard, there have been citizens who have offered some proactive measures to the Elk Grove City Council. These reasonable suggestions could provide a small degree of additional assurance to residents, and especially parents of school-age children, to reduce the chances this type of event befalling on the city.

The first of the two proposals came from Elk Grove resident Steve Lee who offered an idea to the city council in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings. The other suggestion is from another community resident, Connie Conley, that is being suggested in the immediate wake of last week's tragedy. 

Each of the proposals for the city council is generated independent of each other, but if enacted could in tandem be important measures to open up for community debate. The national mood is right for an open discussion, and it will be up to our city council to see if they are committed to stronger neighborhoods as they repeatedly claim or if that is just another meaningless throwaway slogan.   

Opinion - Elk Grove City Should Consider Gun Buyback

By Steve Lee - originally posted April 25, 2013 | 

I read today that the City of Elk Grove is considering “giving” a $175,000 “incentive” to a privately owned restaurant group that wants to re-open the Old Town Brewery. The money comes from city coffers funded by our tax dollars set aside to promote new business. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for new business and possibly even incentives, but $175,000 for one business to the exclusion of all other small businesses in Old Town seems patently unfair.

Perhaps a better outlet to promote and improve our city is right in front of us and the entire world. After watching the devastating events of the Boston Marathon and its aftermath so recently, and before that, the Aurora, Colo. theatre and the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacres, I was hoping someone on our city council would step forward and do something to rid our community of unwanted and / or illegal firearms before such a devastating event takes place here. I’m still waiting. Aren’t six educator’s and 20 first grader’s funerals enough to kick start us into action?

Aren’t the still unsolved murders of two innocent Sikh gentlemen along E. Stockton Blvd a couple of years ago and now the recent pistol whipping of a local jewelry store employee just last week enough to convince the city council to take action? Violent crime locally is increasing. We need to take action.

Many cities since the Aurora incident have taken action working with local law enforcement agencies, faith based organizations, victim advocacy groups, local businesses, and even local TV stations, to set up and sponsor programs to get these unwanted or illegal weapons off the streets and reward the owners with gift cards that can be used for food or other necessities while building local stimulus.

Just earlier this month, the City of San Mateo collected 680 guns, including 24 assault rifles, paying out a total of $68,500. $100 was paid for each handgun, shotgun and rifle, and $200 for assault rifles. 338 handguns were collected and are now off the streets.

Santa Clara in one day last month collected 1,116 firearms, including 47 assault rifles for a total payout of $114,000. Imagine all these firearms off the streets where they can no longer injure or kill innocent people via accident and are unable to be stolen and used to further crime. According to the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics, 1.4 million firearms were stolen nationally during household burglaries in the six-year period from 2005-2010. 75-ercent of all stolen firearms occurred during household burglaries.

The community of Bridgeport, Conn., the same approximate size as Elk Grove, recently collected 108 firearms, including 10 assault rifles over a weekend for a $22,775 payout. That small community is now safer.

Los Angeles has removed almost 10,000 weapons from the streets since 2009 employing these programs. Phoenix has a program that also pays $10-$20 for donations of large round magazines.

I suggest that this program may be a better use of our tax dollars than the current economic incentive program. The safety of our families and our community must be paramount to business. It would likely be less costly as well, and it would benefit all of us, not just one entity.

Additionally, these buy-back programs do not further erode or restrict people’s 2nd Amendment right to bear arms. These collection programs are strictly voluntary. A policy of “no questions asked” is in place. Before destruction, the weapons serial numbers could be checked and if reported stolen, offered back to the actual owner. Firearms having historical significance are evaluated prior to destruction and may be kept out of circulation, but held for their value. Some cities are allowing crafters to use the melted remnants of the weapons to make jewelry items sold for profit, making the guns into an additional form of local stimulus.

Would you rather have a new restaurant in town that has a $175,000 of our tax money in its coffers prior to even opening, or have 200 handguns, 150 shotguns and rifles, 70 assault rifles and 50 high capacity magazines off the local streets for a buyout of less than $50,000?

Food for thought. Is anyone listening?


Proposal for City of Elk Grove - Ammo Sales Log Ordinance

By Connie Conley | February 21

This was originally sent to Elk Grove Police Chief Bryan Noblett as an email on Thursday, February 22.

Back in early 2013, after the school shooting in Sandy Hook that slaughtered 20 innocent young children and six adults protecting them, I forwarded the attached ordinance relating to firearm ammunition sales logs for consideration and passage.

The Elk Grove City Council did not act at that time; however, given what occurred on Valentine’s Day in Florida, and the killing of more innocent children and teachers protecting them, I cannot sit idly by and not try again. Continued...


Side bar:  As you know, I have written and championed many public safety ordinances passed by the Elk Grove City Council.  They include the Street Racing Ordinances and Education Component (written by Patrick Hume) – which EGPD continues to implement today – the Tobacco/Smoking Ordinance, and the Child Protection Ordinance; both of which also passed.

One ordinance that didn’t pass but fostered citywide awareness was the Gang Prevention Ordinance.  As a note, then Sgt. and now Capt. Tim Albright, who was head of the EGPD gang unit at that time, partnered with us on the ordinance.  He subsequently gave several very informative presentations on gang violence which opened people’s eyes and minds.  (I firmly believe that those presentations need to be revisited.)

Back then, when I sent the proposed ammunition sales ordinance to the Elk Grove City Council, the data available included the following from the city of Sacramento.  Many cities in California have since passed similar firearm ammunition sales logs ordinances.  It is my opinion, given the recent events we must to everything possible to protect the children of our city.

As reported by the Sacramento Police Department for 2009 alone:

“Detectives conducted follow up investigation on ammunition purchasers with the following results in 2009:

·       109 prohibited people purchased ammunition
·       24 had convictions for violence
·       9 were gang members; 2 were sex offenders
·       5 people indicted in federal court

Recovered or seized:

·       60 firearms
·       5 ounces of methamphetamine and 900 Ecstasy pills
·       $15,470 in cash and 1 Land Rover vehicle.”[1]

Equally as important, as reported on the local news recently and in published reports, former Sacramento County District Attorney Jan Scully has also been proactive in prosecuting the ordinance.  Since 2008:

  • 349 people have been banned from buying ammo in the city of Sacramento
  • 275 people with felony convictions were caught trying to buy ammo in the city of Sacramento
  • 270 people were prosecuted by the Sacramento County District Attorney’s office

Former Sacramento Police Chief Rick Braziel has been quoted as saying, “Sacramento has proven that doing background checks on ammunition purchasers will keep dangerous ammunition out of the hands of criminals and make our neighborhoods safer.”

Though I would like the Elk Grove City Council to pass an ordinance banning the sale of high-capacity ammunition magazines completely in our city, I know that is not possible given Second Amendment Rights.  We can, however, legally monitor who is buying ammunition.

In closing, I hope you will agree that is ordinance would be a useful tool in aiding public safety in our city and I also hope the Elk Grove City Council has the foresight to pass it.

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1 comment

Eye on Elk Grove said...

Hume’s comment of all we can do is send “our thoughts and prayers,” though heartfelt, is NOT ENOUGH! The students of the Parkland shooting have made it very clear, when they said, “We don’t need your thoughts and prayers, we need action.”

Let’s see what action elected officials here in Elk Grove take.

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