BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Kern residents remain split on whether legislators should implement stricter gun policy. This renewed controversy around gun policy comes just days after a mass shooting took the lives of 19 children in Uvalde, Texas. An unscientific 17 News feedback poll says 58% of respondents want stricter gun laws.

“Every nation has mental health issues. Every nation has some form of domestic terrorism,” said Democratic Analyst Neel Sannappa. “This doesn’t happen in other countries, mass killings like this.”

Many others say restrictive gun policy isn’t the answer for public safety.

“Gun safety today is the main focus, I think. We need to be able to lock them up and keep them out of reach of minors or incompetent hands that don’t need to get a hold of guns,” said Dirk Turner, Owner of T&T Liberty Safes. “We need to also be able to protect our second amendment.”

This comes as lawmakers scramble to find common ground on Capitol Hill. Among the long list of proposals from House Democrats: a bill that would require gun owners to store weapons unloaded in a safe, or a safety device like a trigger lock, if children are likely find it.

Gun safes or devices like trigger locks are already required under California law. But the Gifford Law Center says 4.6 million children around the country live in homes with loaded, unlocked guns.

“If I can sell a safe and keep guns out of somebody else’s hands, we’ve done our jobs,” said Turner.

Other proposals would ban high-capacity magazines and raise the age to buy an assault-style rifle from 18 to 21 years old. Local gun control proponents say safety measures like these aren’t enough.

“We need to start by what Democrats are proposing. That will start to make things safer,” said Sannappa. “But we need to really have a discussion about how we move forward. What is the real conversation behind the second amendment?”

17 News data shows very few people around Kern County believe Congress can agree on gun policy.