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Posted: 2/7/2006 3:51:13 PM EDT
Shooter in postal rampage got gun in N.M.
By MICHAEL R. BLOOD, Associated Press Writer
02/07/06

LOS ANGELES (AP) - The postal worker who went on a deadly shooting rampage last week at a mail-sorting center legally bought the weapon in New Mexico even though she had a history of psychiatric problems that would have barred her from purchasing the gun in California, officials said.

Jennifer San Marco, who shot six postal employees to death before killing herself Jan. 30 in the Southern California community of Goleta, was committed briefly for psychiatric reasons in 2001. Because of that, under California law, she was automatically barred for five years from buying a gun, officials said.

But New Mexico, where she moved in late 2003 or early 2004, relies on federal gun law and the federal instant background check for would-be buyers. And San Marco cleared the background check there.

"She bought the gun legally in New Mexico," said Sgt. Erik Raney of the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department.

The federal government, like California, prohibits the mentally ill from buying guns. But the federal government sets a much higher threshold than California in deciding whether someone's mental illness is a disqualifying factor.

The case shows the need for "more rigorous national standards to keep weapons out of the hands of the mentally ill," California Attorney General Gen. Bill Lockyer said Tuesday. "It demonstrates the limits on a state's ability to effectively enforce firearms laws, because they are avoidable by purchasing a gun in a less-regulated state."

San Marco, 44, bought the pistol in August from a pawn shop in Grants, N.M., near her home. She then went on a shooting spree at the Santa Barbara Processing and Distribution Center, where she once worked. Authorities also said she killed a former neighbor just before going on the rampage, bringing the death toll to eight.

California officials would not say if San Marco tried to buy a gun in California, citing privacy restrictions.

In communities in both states where San Marco lived, she was known for bizarre behavior, including harassing municipal employees, making racist comments and stripping in public. However, the FBI declined to say if San Marco was in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, citing privacy reasons.

Paul Castillo, who sold the gun to San Marco for $325 at Ace Pawn and Antiques, said San Marco provided a driver's license to show proof of New Mexico residency and was not flagged by the federal background check required for handgun purchases.

"She was like anybody else, Castillo said, "nothing usual."


www.modbee.com/24hour/nation/story/3145087p-11852371c.html
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 4:02:48 PM EDT
The Modesto Bee/AP/news media is going to claim that the gun control laws are not strict enough, and need to be strenghten, somehow the anti-gunners are going to gain as much favorable publicity for their cause as possible.
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 4:10:31 PM EDT
How long until the California .gov starts thinking about a state/federal task force to stop the waves of illegal guns coming into Cali, ala Nueva York?

Link Posted: 2/7/2006 4:17:23 PM EDT
What kind of gun was it?
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 5:00:19 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Hipster:
"She bought the gun legally in New Mexico," said Sgt. Erik Raney of the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department.



She did not break any laws in New Mexico, sounds like a California problem. Hell I get pissed off just thinking about California.
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 5:02:12 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Silesius:
What kind of gun was it?


One that should be banned, for the children.
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 5:06:19 PM EDT
We need pics of the gun and the woman or the story is useless.
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 5:49:37 PM EDT
The only description I could find of the gun is that it was a 9mm.

If the democrats were still in the majority in D.C., Feinstein would take this and shove through new legislation at the federal level. Thank heavens that she & Schumer are in the minority party.
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