California's state Senate has approved a measure prompted by last year's fatal shooting at a San Diego-area synagogue.
Investigators say the suspect, John T. Earnest, then 19, used a hunting license to buy the weapon he is accused of using in April 2019 at Chabad of Poway. Earnest is charged with killing a 60-year-old woman and injuring three others, including the rabbi and an 8-year-old girl.
Earnest has pleaded not guilty to murder and attempted murder charges.
Having a valid hunting license is the only way someone under 21 who isn’t in the military or law enforcement could legally buy a weapon under state law, but his license wasn't set to go into effect until about two months after the shooting, authorities said.
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SB914 by Democratic Sen. Anthony Portantino of La Cañada Flintridge would require gun stores and the state Department of Justice to each check the validity of hunting licenses during a 10-day waiting period after gun buyers purchase the weapon and before they can pick it up.
The bill approved by senators on a party line vote Monday now goes to the state Assembly.
A Portantino law that took effect this year bars those under 21 from buying center-fire, semiautomatic firearms even with hunting licenses. Such rifles were used at the Poway synagogue and a Gilroy food festival.