To punctuate the complexity of the issue, neither California's Roberti-Roos Assault Weapons Act nor the Federal assault weapons ban would have prevented Purdy from legally purchasing the weapon he used to commit his crime.
The fatalities, Raphanar Or, Ran Chun, Sokhim An, Oeun Lim and Thuy Tran, were all Cambodian immigrants, except for Tran who was born in Vietnam.
Purdy, who had carved the words "freedom", "victory", and "Hezbollah" on his weapon, and "PLO", "Libya", and "death to the Great Satin" (sic) on his flak jacket, then took his own life by shooting himself in the head with a pistol.
The multiple murders at Stockton received national news coverage and spurred calls for regulation of semi-automatic weapons.
In California, measures were taken to first define and then ban assault weapons, resulting in the Roberti-Roos Assault Weapons Act.
On the Federal level, Congress struggled with a way to ban weapons like Purdy's military-style semi-automatic rifle without also including semi-automatic hunting rifles.
In the end, Congress defined "assault weapons" as semi-automatic weapons with certain military-style secondary features such as flash suppressors, bayonet lugs, and pistol grips. Bush signed an executive order banning importation of assault weapons in 1989.
These were banned in the Federal assault weapons ban, enacted in 1994, which expired in 2004. President Bill Clinton signed another executive order in 1994 which banned importation of most firearms and ammunition from China.
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We have many plans and enthusiasm to keep expanding and making Murderpedia a better site, but we really need your help for this. The Stockton Massacre refers to the killing of five schoolchildren in Stockton, California on January 17, 1989.
On that date, an unknown person phoned the Stockton Police and warned of a death threat against Cleveland Elementary School.