The mass shooting that left five people dead in Santa Monica is the reason a California congressman wants to make it illegal for people to buy parts on the Internet to build their own weapons.
Congressman Henry Waxman, D-Santa Monica, made the announcement at a gun violence forum held on the Santa Monica College campus Monday.
Vanessa Enriquez visits the campus every day to light candles at the memorial for those killed on June 7.
Her best friend, Marcela Franco was among those killed by John Zawahri, who police say built his own AR-15 style weapon out of parts he legally bought on the Internet. Zawahri had previously been denied a gun permit due to a history of mental illness.
“It’s scary to know anybody can just build their own weapon nowadays like nothing, and innocent people have to suffer the consequences,” Enriquez said.
Waxman said he’ll introduce a federal law to ban the Internet sale of gun kits that allow people to build their own homemade assault weapons.
“Out-of-state stores sell special California magazine repair kids that appear to be weapons that are banned in California,” Waxman said.
But some Santa Monica residents doubt Waxman’s law stands a chance, given the recent failure of gun control legislation in Washington.
“Unfortunately, we have a Congress who is not going to touch that with a 10-foot pole,” Betsy Hiteshew said.
Enriquez said she hopes meaningful change will come, so the death of her friend won’t be in vain.
“In her name, I’d be happy if it happened so people wouldn’t die like she did,” she said.
Waxman’s law would also give people better access to mental health care and authorize research on mental illness and gun violence.