Two decades ago, California legislators added a new weapon to the state’s growing arsenal of gun-control measures, already among the toughest in the nation. Their motivation came from 2,000 miles away in a shaken Chicago suburb.
It was there that a gunman opened fire in an engine factory where he’d worked for nearly 40 years. He killed four people and wounded four others before pulling the trigger on himself. It was soon revealed that some of the weapons he smuggled inside should have been earlier confiscated because of his past criminal convictions.
In the wake of the rampage, and with lofty expectations, California became the first state in the country to create a database identifying thousands of people who’d legally purchased guns but were now deemed too dangerous to be armed.
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