Flags flying at half-staff at San Diego County Sheriff's Department Headquarters in Kearny Mesa in memory of the Sutherland Springs shooting victims.
Flags fly at half-staff at San Diego County Sheriff’s Department Headquarters in Kearny Mesa. File photo via Twitter

Acting California Governor Gavin Newsom Wednesday ordered Capitol flags flown at half-staff and issued a statement with his wife in response to the deadly Northern California shootings.

“Jennifer and I once again join the people of California in extending our deepest condolences to the loved ones of victims lost to a senseless barrage of gun violence, this time at an elementary school and other locations in Rancho Tehama. Our collective hearts ache for this California community on this darkest of days – and we pledge to never forget those affected and to never stop working on their behalf to prevent future gun tragedies,” Newsom said.

Gunman Kevin Neal, 43, was killed by police Tuesday after he reportedly went on a shooting rampage killing five people and wounding at least 10 others in the small community located in Tehama County.

After the shootings, Neal’s sister told CNN that her brother had struggled with mental health issues for at least 20 years.

He also had a history with local law enforcement. Neal had been released from jail on bail following a deadly weapon charge from January, and was allegedly prohibited from possessing firearms, according to news reports.

“This tragedy is a stark reminder that, while California moves to implement and enforce the toughest gun safety protections in the nation, we will never truly stem the national epidemic of indiscriminate gun violence until Congress starts valuing human life ahead of the national gun lobby and offers immediate action, not empty platitudes,” Newsom’s statement continued.

A gubernatorial candidate when Brown terms out in 2018, Newsom has long been an advocate for stricter gun control laws. In October, he asked the courts to lift an order blocking the state’s ban on large-capacity ammunition magazines, which was approved in November by voters when they passed Proposition 63.

Over the summer, a federal judge in San Diego ruled in favor of a request by the National Rifle Association and five San Diego County residents to temporarily delay the Prop. 63 magazine ban until the court could review the law.

Newsom and the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence sponsored Prop. 63.

As lieutenant governor, Newsom is California’s acting governor while Gov. Jerry Brown wraps up a 10-day trip to Europe where he has been meeting with climate change experts and leaders.

–Staff

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