WatchSonoma Watch

Santa Rosa council supports federal assault weapons ban


The day after the Petaluma City Council expressed support for the federal assault weapons ban, the Santa Rosa City Council fired off two letters supporting efforts by Sen. Diane Feinstein and Congressman Mike Thompson to curb gun violence.

Santa Rosa City Council chambers at city hall.

Both letters referenced the December school shooting in Newtown, Conn., where 20 children and 6 adults were killed by a gunman using an assault-style rifle.

“These letters are an appropriate response to a horrific act,” Councilwoman Julie Combs said.

The letter to Feinstein, D-San Francisco, supported her efforts to renew and broaden the 1994 assault weapons ban she sponsored and which expired after 10 years.

It includes a ban on weapons with magazines of more than 10 rounds, requires background checks for certain weapons, establishes a buyback program for weapons and exempts from the ban more than 2,200 models used largely by sportsmen.

The second letter urges Thompson, D-St. Helena, in his role as chairman of the Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, to take a comprehensive approach toward reducing gun violence. The council encouraged the U.S. Attorney’s Office to “aggressively prosecute” gun-related crimes under existing laws, but also to explore other measures.

“This could include efforts such as strengthening the use of background checks, improving mental health services, and keeping military-type guns and assault magazines out of our communities, among other efforts,” reads the letter. Both are signed by Mayor Scott Bartley.

A handful of residents condemned the council’s action, some claiming it was part of a conspiracy to deprive people of their constitutional rights. One resident praised the council.

Councilman Ernesto Olivares, a retired police lieutenant, said he appreciated the letter’s emphasis on upholding existing gun laws. He and other council members stressed that the law should not be viewed as stripping people of their right to bear arms.

“It’s about reducing gun violence,” Olivares said. “I am not anti-gun, but I am anti-violence. We all should be.”

Councilman Jake Ours, who noted that he has been a hunter and a member of the National Rifle Association, said he was proud to see the two legislators take a stand on the issue, noting that the NRA had “gone the wrong way.”

“It’s no longer time to kowtow to the NRA,” Ours said.

In response to some of the criticism, Ours stressed that “there are 20 dead children” and the nation needed to do something about it. “This country is too good to allow that to happen,” he said.

Bartley, who said he, too, had guns and hunted while growing up, pointed out that the federal ban is similar to the state ban first passed in 1989. “The reality of it is most of what this letter implies we already have in place in California anyway,” Bartley said.

You can reach Staff Writer Kevin McCallum at 521-5207 or kevin.mccallum@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @citybeater

43 Responses to “Santa Rosa council supports federal assault weapons ban”

  1. dbaker says:

    “In response to some of the criticism, Ours stressed that “there are 20 dead children” and the nation needed to do something about it. “This country is too good to allow that to happen,” he said.”

    Do you know the number of dead Iraqi children? A million, maybe more? 500,000 dead from starvation due to the US “sanctions” that shut down their access to food in the mid 90′s. Add to that the intended effects of bombing infrastructure like water treatment facilities, hospitals, and power stations. Then try to see the long term and immeasurable harm brought on the civilian population from the inexcusable and criminal use of depleted uranium munitions that have blanketed the country. Mind you, this country did nothing to us and in fact they were dipped into a bloody war with Iran by our demand. The chemical weapons were from us. The last decade you have spent a trillion dollars destroying a people for no reason that would fly in a court and for the gains of demons that you will not share in.

    How many Vietnamese children were under our bombers? Do you take notice of the indiscriminate and immoral pain and death delivered through US chemical weapons sprayed all over the country (Dioxin)? Do you see the birth defects and cry for the injustice of a country like ours waging war on civilians? Do you suppose it had anything to do with the opium trade and US “interest”?

    You people are sick. You wanna ride the bodies of a few US kids so you can help achieve a goal that isn’t for you. Do you really think the gangsters who have infected the state, fleeced the people, and used our children as cannon fodder, trading lives for power and wealth, you really believe you’re gonna be safe? You really believe that this is about protecting us, from us. Do you know that congress has an 8% approval rating? They sure do.

    So what about you? Are you just an idiot that fails to understand the real life consequences that come with wars of conquest? You hate brown children and think nothing of the million that are in the dirt that were brought to their death in part directly through your tax money? 16,000 Kids starved in Africa today and tomorrow, 16,000 more will die. Do you think the abortions and vaccines are improving nutrition for the living? Billions sent in donations and your UN is unable to give anything but death.

    There is no way the transparently deceitful campaign of state propaganda you tools call news is going to work. There will be no confiscation of the people’s arms. You folks are just gonna have to live with 300,000,000 state to civilian equalizing tools in the homes, holsters, and cars of a public that is finally done being punked by the illusion of strength. You reap what you sow, my conscience is clean.

  2. David Wells says:

    Laws only keep the honest in line. Locked doors don’t stop all break-ins do they? Speed limit signs stop people from speeding? Everyone without fail stops at stop signs,right? New gun laws only take guns away from those that follow laws. Those that kill people obviously don’t obey the laws already on the books, so what will more laws do, but help the criminals. For they will get guns regardless of any new laws. How many weapons(asault or not) are stolen from police vehicles every year? They can’t even keep track of their own guns.

  3. Fred says:

    And how are the public supposed to protect themselves from lunatics such as the LAPD officer and democrat Omoron supporter who went on a shooting rampage? Goes to show you can’t trust the cops either.

  4. Dan Drummond Sr says:

    I don’t think the President is the one dancing here.

  5. Skippy says:

    There has been a Newtown massacre every month in Chicago, and Emperor Obama doesn’t give a rat’s butt about them.
    25 kids shot dead every month in a State and city with the strictest gun-control laws in the nation.
    Maybe it’s because they’re just poor black kids, and he cannot stand on their graves to advance his oppressive agenda.

  6. Dan Drummond Sr says:

    In the 52 days since Newtown, at least 1619 people have died in America from gunshots.
    You can read about each death by clicking on a body icon, then clicking on the source.

  7. John says:

    As usual, most posters wander off topic and go to the never ending gun control/2nd Amendment debate. People, that’s not what this article is about. It’s about Diane Feinstein bypassing due process and asking for support from cities so she can ram her law through because so many cities support it, and about the city councils that have fallen for this tactic. Both Petaluma and Santa Rosa have fallen in line for Feinstein. The quote in the article?

    “These letters are an appropriate response to a horrific act,” Councilwoman Julie Combs said.

    And that is absolutely a fair statement, IF you are an individual. The City Council is not an individual, and has no right to place support for something like this as it assumes that it is the consensus of their constituency. The citizens of Santa Rosa weren’t asked OR informed of this until after the fact. This is clearly grandstanding, and an abuse of office by the Council! Stick to city business, and city issues, stay away from state or federal policy, and at least make some attempt to do the job you were elected to do, that’s all I ask!

  8. Scott says:

    Our city council is not representing its constituents. This endorsement is a distraction from their duties.

    What will happen to the nearly 1 Million people who use guns to protect themselves each year when the government decides that they do not have a right to defend themselves? http://www.justfacts.com/guncontrol.asp

    Feinstein’s bill and the UN treaty are 2 attacks on our constitution and our rights. Wake up! Don’t trade Freedom for Security else you will end up with neither!

    Calling these guns “Military Grade” is laughable. Most of the guns on Feinsteins list are available in the same caliber and the same magazine sizes as hunting rifles. (Mockingbird please take note.) Anyone who refers to these as military grade or assault weapons are speaking from emotions and not facts. Lets deal with facts. http://www.justfacts.com/guncontrol.asp

    Our government has put guns in the hands of the Cartel and then tells us we can’t have them? Our borders with Mexico are a war zone, who from the City council is going to go down there and tell them they can’t have certain guns, only have a certain number of bullets to protect themselves with? City Council please get back to the work we need you to do and represent your constituents.

  9. James Bennett says:


    BTW; As sad and horrific as it was,
    the Sandy Hook incident was not as it was portrayed in main stream media.

    But then, very little is.

  10. Dan Drummond Sr says:

    Congratulations, you and your dancing sheriffs have won this dancing contest.

  11. Jorge Soto says:

    Just another ‘Thank You” to the below list of Sheriffs who have said “NO” to Obama’s (really the UN’s) gun control scheme. Soon to expand.

    Hmmmmmmmmmm No Sheriff Steve Freitas on the list

    Those saying NO to Unconstitutional GUN CONTROL

    Adam Christianson Stanislaus California
    Jon Lopey Siskiyou California
    Tom Bosenko Shasta
    John D’Agostini El Dorado California
    David Hencraft Tehama
    Dean Growden Lassen
    Dean Wilson Del Norte California
    Mike Poindexter Modoc
    Thomas Allman Mendocino California
    Mike Downey Humboldt California
    Margaret Mims Fresno
    Greg Hagwood Plumas
    Bruce Haney Trinity
    Martin Ryan Amador
    Jerry Smith Butte
    Donny Youngblood Kern California
    James W. Mele Toulumne California

  12. Jorge Soto says:

    Re: Australia
    You have to look AT ALL THE FACTS

    is a common fantasy that gun bans make society safer. In 2002 — five years after enacting its gun ban — the Australian Bureau of Criminology acknowledged there is no correlation between gun control and the use of firearms in violent crime. In fact, the percent of murders committed with a firearm was the highest it had ever been in 2006 (16.3 percent), says the D.C. Examiner.

    Even Australia’s Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research acknowledges that the gun ban had no significant impact on the amount of gun-involved crime:

    In 2006, assault rose 49.2 percent and robbery 6.2 percent.
    Sexual assault — Australia’s equivalent term for rape — increased 29.9 percent.
    Overall, Australia’s violent crime rate rose 42.2 percent.
    Moreover, Australia and the United States — where no gun-ban exists — both experienced similar decreases in murder rates:

    Between 1995 and 2007, Australia saw a 31.9 percent decrease; without a gun ban, America’s rate dropped 31.7 percent.
    During the same time period, all other violent crime indices increased in Australia: assault rose 49.2 percent and robbery 6.2 percent.
    Sexual assault — Australia’s equivalent term for rape — increased 29.9 percent.
    Overall, Australia’s violent crime rate rose 42.2 percent.
    At the same time, U.S. violent crime decreased 31.8 percent: rape dropped 19.2 percent; robbery decreased 33.2 percent; aggravated assault dropped 32.2 percent.
    Australian women are now raped over three times as often as American women.
    While this doesn’t prove that more guns would impact crime rates, it does prove that gun control is a flawed policy

  13. Citizen says:


    “I totally support the right of any citizen in the “militia” (could be the National Guard now) to have as many single-shot muskets and pistols as they deem necessary. Just as in 1781.”

    Ha ha, good point, bear! And I support the right to freedom of religion as long as it’s one of the religions that was around when the constitution was written!

    And punishment is only cruel and unusual if they thought it was cruel and unusual back in 1700s! We’re gonna start hanging some folks!

  14. Jorge Soto says:

    Just an FYI
    In order to pass the New York SAFE Act, which substantially erodes a citizens Constitutionally granted Second Amendment right to bear arms, Governor Cuomo had to circumvent his own state Constitution. That document has an amendment requiring a three-day public review of all laws. By issuing a “Message of Necessity”, Cuomo was able to pass the law without public scrutiny, with the Senate actually voting on the bill a mere 30 minutes after receiving it.

  15. Jorge Soto says:

    Fifty-three percent of Americans now say that the federal government threatens their personal rights and freedoms — the first time a majority has agreed with that statement since Pew began polling on the question in 1995.

    Mistrust of the government is also high, with nearly three-quarters of Americans saying they can trust the government to do the right thing only sometimes or never.

    Oh, and the unnoticed law passed late last year allowing thousands of drones to patrol US skies…hmmmm. i wonder why the government thinks we are a potential enemy.

  16. John Pendergast says:

    No group of people who meet in a building that ugly should have anything to say about anything.

  17. MOCKINGBIRD says:

    James Bennett, I usually ignore your posts but you are wrong and I need to say so. Australia and other countries have gun limits. They have LESS VIOLENCE FROM GUNS AND SIGNIFICANTLY FEWER SUICIDES.

    For once, take off your tin hat. No one is out to get you. You’ll die at a young age from all that cortisol released in your bloodstream from all you self induced stress.

    Relax and enjoy life.

  18. MOCKINGBIRD says:

    The constitution does not say ANYTHING ABOUT ASSAULT WEAPONS. We live in the freest country in the world. We don’t need assault weapons to protect ourselves from our own government. Anyone who thinks so IS DANGEROUS as far as I’m concerned, tin hat or not. Completely bonkers and that makes you dangerous. No one is taking away your guns. There are LIMITS BEING SET ON WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION. Like you can’t own a hydrogen bomb, you can’t own military grade weapons.

    Get a clue. When I look at my 5 year old grandson I think that Newton could have been Santa Rosa, his little body exploded with bullet after bullet.

  19. James Bennett says:

    The statistics associated with gun control/banning are consistant. The evidence is irrefutable.

    Every time, every last time that gun restrictions are imposed the crime goes up in direct proportion.

    Every time nations ban guns, tyranny follows; or worse.

    The examles in the U.S., other parts of the world, current, past history all bear the same results.

    Kinda makes you wonder about our government’s resolve to disarm the citizens.

    Represent us, uphold their oath. Simple job description.

    Our founding fathers knew history repeated itself. They had a framework in place to prevent tyranny. But it requires our participation.

    “Government is not reason, it is not eloquence — it is force! Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master. Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action.”
    -George Washington

  20. Terry says:

    Correction: “Therefore gun crime in New York is less than half that of CHICAGO.”

  21. Terry says:

    Comparatively for its size New York does not have a high murder rate like Chicago. Law enforcement in New York believe that is because they have 3 – 5 year mandatory sentences if you are found to be carrying a gun, even if it is registered. Therefore gun crime in New York is less than half that of New York.

  22. Follower says:

    The National Guard isn’t a “Militia”. The “Militia” the 2nd amendment refers too isn’t a Government run entity because it’s sole purpose is to keep the Government in check.
    Our Founders weren’t stupid enough to put the fox in charge of the hen house.

    The 2nd amendment wasn’t intended to protect “Hunters”, unless you’re hunting tyrants.

    There is no Constitutional right to drive a car so forget about that argument.

    As far as society collapsing… you really are completely ignorant of History! Or you have some delusional belief that America is somehow exempt from History. It’s not.

    For the rest of us… we hear the hard core anti-gun people loud & clear.

    We have no illusions of what will be come of “The List” once you have suckered people into registering their guns.

    An assault rifle purchased legally in the 70’s, forcibly registered in the 90’s was made illegal once “The List” was compiled.

    Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me!

    So go ahead, pass you laws.
    I’ll register my car, my boat, my dog but my GUNS?

    I’d just as soon stay off THAT “list” thank you…
    At whatever cost.

  23. Whine Country Romance says:

    If these idiots really cared about our safety, they would turn our streetlights back on at night.

  24. Larry says:

    If strick gun laws work, then why does Chicago have such a high murder rate!

    Or New York, or Detroit…

  25. Larry says:

    Hey bear,

    Who do you think the militia was back then? Do your homework! The Founders put the 2nd amendment in OUR Constitution to allow US to protect ourselves from tyranny thay just broke away from! Learn history my friend.

    Besides ( and beside the point), we could round up ALL of the guns and the bad guys could still get them.

    Our 2nd Amendment was placed 2nd for a reason!

  26. Reality Check says:

    If guns are the problem, then wouldn’t you think advocates of gun control would go after the guns responsible for the deaths? But they aren’t. They’re going after a made-in-Washington mirage–assault weapons.

    All this racket is little more than a show for the folks. Their political base demands gun control, so gun control they’ll get. Never mind that it’s not the guns that are the problem.

    What a hoot!

  27. GAJ says:

    We just bought another house to rent to a friend on Little John Lane.

    Noticed many 4 way intersections in that area have not a single stop sign and fired off a letter to a traffic engineer; huge liability for the City.

    Response was, “that’s a quiet neighborhood, they don’t need stop signs.”

    Evidently the City pays lip service to real Public Safety and doesn’t realize the guns discussed are already banned in California.


  28. Jim says:

    It’s pretty amusing… Feinstein wants an assault weapons ban yet has no qualms sending assault weapons and military equipment to Egypt.

    Oh, you didn’t know that? Pay no attention to the person behind the curtain:

  29. Dan Drummond Sr says:

    I don’t know about information on deaths in Santa Rosa caused by so-called assault weapons, but here are two interesting sources for information about gun deaths.

    Want to know how many people have been killed by guns in America since Newtown?

    Want to know how the U.S. compares to Yemen in the average of firearms per 100 people?

    I think we ought to raise the age at which juveniles can have a gun. ~George W. Bush

  30. bear says:

    I totally support the right of any citizen in the “militia” (could be the National Guard now) to have as many single-shot muskets and pistols as they deem necessary. Just as in 1781.

    I totally support the right of hunters to hunt. Hopefully for something they eat. But if it takes you 30 rounds to bring down a rabbit or a deer, you should get your eyes checked.

    I totally support background checks. I can’t drive a car without training, testing and insurance.

    The rest of you are paranoid anarchists who think that civil society will collapse and you’ll have to kill people.

    All that said, there are 300 million guns in this country, and the history of regulation of anything is a bad joke.

    Try to remember that liberals own guns, too.

  31. Reality Check says:

    This article would be improved by including information on deaths in Santa Rosa caused by so-called assault weapons. Are there any to report?

    If the good council members are willing to take the time, then how about making it about something that might actually reduce violent crime. This looks like nothing more than a gesture, and a poorly informed one at that.

  32. Larry says:

    What part of “shall not be infringed” do you NOT understand. Yes we all want a safe environment for our schools. I’m sure we can prevent ALL the criminals from getting any weapon they choose. Also I’m sure the criminals will start abiding by the law! How about we stop tearing apart OUR Constitution and protect the entire Bill of Rights! Not just the blabber mouths right to free speech and press. I left out Religion as it’s already no longer included in the lefts view of our Constitution!

  33. Dan Drummond Sr says:

    When I read negative comments about the current attempt to prevent gun violence in our country, I remember a comment I recently read from a post on another web site. That person said, “Please stop dancing on those children’s graves!”
    It’s not the 1700’s anymore. Guns have evolved and so should the laws concerning them. “These letters are an appropriate response to a horrific act.”
    Elevate those guns a little lower. ~Andrew Jackson

  34. bill me says:

    Spot on Kirstin! If they want to do this on their time, fine. Not on our time. The Second Amendment is clear-we have the right to keep and bear arms “without infringement”. I do not need our City Council to write letters of support to infringe on my rights. A far more effective position for the City Council would be to reduce bloated safety and administrative pensions and use that money for extensive mental health services to prevent Sandy Hook type tragedies.

  35. Frank says:

    hum, they swore an oath, to defend the Constitution when taking on the job.
    maybe they should stick to cleaning up the roads and fixing the spending problem,

  36. Fiscal Conservative says:

    I agree that the local City councils are reaching for popularity as they don’t want to see a
    crisis go to waste without a sense of political power and control. The fact is, they are
    failing miserably at the tasks they do have power and control over including degradation
    of infrastructure, maintenance and defined benefit pensions.

    What needs to be regulated is psycotropic drugs that make insane people think it’s OK to
    shoot their mother and steel her rifle and turn it on innocent children. Psycotropic drugs, it
    has been revealed, were involved in nearly all of these horrific events. Why has the
    main-stream media overlooked this? It’s the agenda and the propaganda machine.( PD
    now endorsing political candidates again…?)

    Lets briefly look at the gun control agenda and history:

    “ 1935 will go down in history! For the first time, a civilized nation has full gun
    registration! Our streets will be safer, our police more efficient and the world will follow
    our leadership into the future!” -Adolph Hitler 1935.

    “The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to allow the subjected people
    to carry arms; history has shown that all conquers who have allowed their subjected
    people to carry arms have prepared their own fall” -Adolph Hitler 1938

    That’s some pretty progressive history! How did that work out?

    I’ll keep my carry backs from Hell, ( gifted by Congress) my hunting and personal defense
    firearms. I have that God given right backed by the 2nd amendment of Constitution of the
    United Stated Of America. -Now, fix the damn roads, get the homeless out of down town,
    and put the staff on 401K pensions! That IS your job!!!

  37. Nora Gonzales says:

    Is it too much to expect the Santa Rosa City Council to focus on local issues such as the budget deficits, public employee pensions, street maintenance, local gangs etc. Instead they wonder off into the weeds of national politics.

  38. James Bennett says:

    Kirstin, you are right, as usual.

    Their job is to represent us.

    The vast majority of citizens want their 2nd Amendment rights. Yeah, and don’t think this “assault weapon” ban isn’t a breach of same. Their definition of assault weapon is very…liberal. Kinda like our morphing definition of a “terrorist”.

    ALL our towns will go along with this UN directive. Cotati, Petaluma, Santa Rosa.
    ‘Cause they all work for globalist interests.

    They’ll do anything they’re told:
    Poison our water with fluoride.
    Vaccinate our children with poison.
    Radiate us with EMF from Smart Meters.
    Crash our property rights, small business, our local economy. Redundantly tax us to death, etc., etc..

  39. @Kristen says:

    Yes, and I’m sure you know federal laws apply to the City of Santa Rosa. Santa Rosa is part of the United States of America. It’s common for cities to send letters of support or opposition to matters they can’t enforce. You only have a problem with these letters because you don’t agree with the council. I’m guessing you didn’t speak out for the matters you don’t care about, which indicates your issue is more about the subject matter rather than their purview.

  40. Kirstin says:

    @the person who won’t sign his/her name: you did see “FEDERAL” in the article, did you not? The municipal and federal governments deal with different spheres of authority, as you surely know. The city council has its own pressing matters and should see to them. You can bet your bottom dollar that the unanimity of the council’s actions do not mirror the opinions among council members’ constituents. If the council members want to write as private citizens and on their own time, they have every right. But on the public’s time, they should not be be writing/authorizing/sending such letters.

  41. @Kirstin says:

    Kirstin, public safety is definitely in the purview of the city council!

  42. Kirstin says:

    City council, fix the city roads and deal with the skyrocketing city employee pension problem. Those PRESSING CITY ISSUES are your responsibility.