Even in California, with some of the nation’s strictest gun control laws,, Elliot Rodger was able to amass a stash of weapons and ammunition, despite having struggled with mental health issues for years, says the New York Times. In the aftermath of the shooting, questions have arisen about whether the authorities followed proper procedures in dealing with Rodger and whether they had missed warnings of the potential danger. Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown said Rodger, who was visited by sheriff's deputies in April as part of a check on his welfare, offered no indications that he was “a danger to himself or anyone else.”
Rodger purchased the first gun in 2012 for $700, a Glock 34 semiautomatic pistol at a gun store a few miles from his apartment, using money he had gotten from family members meant to pay for his college classes. He said he had chosen that particular gun because it was an “efficient and highly accurate weapon.” California has some of the strictest laws limiting the gun rights of people with mental illness, going much further than the federal standard. It was unclear if the police would have even had the authority to search Rodger's home for weapons when they went to check on him. California law permits law enforcement to confiscate firearms in such situations only if the person is admitted to a mental health facility on a so-called 5150, or a 72-hour psychiatric hold for evaluation.