Alleged Palm Springs cop killer used 'assault weapon' banned before he was born

police shooting california

Heavy police presence flooded the Palm Springs neighborhood where the shooting occurred as officers attempted to bring in the suspected shooter. John Felix was eventually captured alive and taken into custody early Sunday morning. (Photo: Sam Mircovich/Reuters)

Although California has had an “assault weapon” ban since 1989, the 26-year-old felon and gang member was able to obtain a rifle classified as such under state law.

On Tuesday, the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department advised in a statement that John Felix is believed to have fired an “assault rifle” at Palm Springs Police Department officers responding to a domestic disturbance call. Shooting through a door, Officers Jose “Gil” Vega and Lesley Zerebny were fatally injured.  The third officer was struck by gunfire and is recovering from non-life threatening injuries.

Felix, 26, has been booked into the Robert Presley Detention Center, located in the city of Riverside, on two counts of murder on a peace officer and is a convicted felon and cannot legally own or possess any firearm under California law.

The state led the nation in 1989 when it passed the Roberti-Roos Assault Weapons Control Act of 1989 (AWCA), which made illegal the ownership and transfer of a myriad of semi-automatic weapons by name. The ban, strengthened by later enhancements in 1999 and 2004 has endured even as a federal one has expired and uses both an enumerated compilation of gun models and an arbitrary list of features to deem a gun an assault rifle, pistol, or shotgun.

If Felix had a full-auto firearm, not registered under the National Firearms Act, he was in violation of a federal law dating back to 1934.

Felix, a member of the Varrio Las Palmas gang, was living with his brother, who has a lengthy history of weapons charges under his belt, as reported by The Desert Sun. As for the alleged gunman himself, he did time for a 2009 drive-by shooting in which a member of a rival gang was seriously wounded.

If only there was a law or something. Maybe a ban. They work, right?

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