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Hearing shows Poway shooter bought gun with invalid hunting license

Posted at 4:38 PM, Sep 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-19 21:09:50-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — For the first time, the hunting license suspected Poway Synagogue shooter John Earnest presented to buy the rifle used in the alleged attack has been made public.

The dates on the license show it was invalid at the time Earnest purchased the gun from a dealer in San Diego.

Earnest, 19 years old at the time of purchase, needed a valid state-issued hunting license to get around a new California law that raised the age limit to buy a firearm to 21.

RELATED: Poway synagogue shooting suspect returns to court for hearing

At a preliminary hearing Thursday, prosecutors shared an image of the hunting license, showing it was valid from July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2020. The attack took place April 27, 2019.

Earnest used the hunting license to buy the semi-automatic rifle from San Diego Guns on April 13. He picked it up the day before the attack, which killed Congregant Lori Kaye and injured three others.

Earnest's purchase application was also shown in court, reflecting the hunting license exemption:

The Justice Department leaves it up to the gun shop to verify hunting license at time of purchase.

State Sen. Anthony Portantino, who authored the age limit law, told 10News he will look to change this system during next year's legislative session.

An employee at San Diego Guns declined to comment Thursday.