SAN JOSE, Calif. (KRON) — America is mourning yet another mass shooting.
On Wednesday, a lone gunman entered a Texas elementary school, and opened fire, ultimately killing 19 children and two teachers. The news of another mass shooting falls on a somber week in San Jose as the one-year anniversary of the VTA rail yard shooting is on May 26.
Santa Clara County officials have vowed to double down on gun reform at the local level. In the year since the VTA shooting, the County and City have worked to reduce gun violence.
More gun buyback events
On Sunday, Supervisor Otto Lee hosted a gun buyback event in Milpitas, the first such event since before the COVID-19 pandemic. Results from the gun buyback event revealed a total of 415 firearms were turned in by residents.
City and County officials said they will continue to push for more gun buyback events in the near future — with the goal of hosting at least two such events each year.
Earlier this month, San Jose joined several California cities to pass laws banning non-serialized firearms. A memo sent to City staff noted ghost guns are appearing with growing frequency at crime scenes, while the number of non-serialized guns found at crime scenes in Santa Clara County went from four in 2015 to 293 in 2021.
The mass shooting at the VTA rail yard prompted San Jose officials to do more to crack down on gun violence, including the passing of the country’s first liability insurance mandate for gun owners. Most recently, the city passed a local ordinance that prohibits possessing, manufacturing, selling, assembling, receiving, or distributing ghost guns.
County Supervisors agreed to review a slate of recommendations for reducing gun violence in August. Recommendations include adopting gun safety policies, evaluating firearm policies through a racial equity lens, and using community-centered approaches to reduce gun violence in neighborhoods.
The true cost of gun violence
Earlier this week, Santa Clara County officials received an interim report that revealed gun violence is costing the County $72 million each year. The report was heard after the Board held a moment of silence for recent gun violence victims in Buffalo, Orange County, and Dallas only to learn the news of the shooting in Texas.
The report also claims Santa Clara County had about 550,000 firearms in 2021—roughly one gun for every four residents.