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Oakland Looks To Toughen Gun Ownership Rules

Publication Date: 
September 10, 2013
Source: 
San Francisco Chronicle
Author: 
Will Kane

Professor John Donohue spoke with Will Kane of the San Francisco Chronicle about the possibility of Oakland requiring residents to register guns with the city or meet strict new licensing rules and explained why such a law would have little immediate impact on crime.

Oakland could become the first city in California to require residents to register guns with the city or meet strict new licensing rules, under legislation awaiting Gov. Jerry Brown's signature.

The bill, sponsored 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 city registries. It would give the City Council the power to enact gun laws that are more restrictive than the state's laws. The city could even charge gun ownership fees.

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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."