As the California legislature returns to Sacramento for the start of the 2022 legislative session, lawmakers will again have the opportunity to pass common-sense gun safety bills. Gun violence prevention is more important than ever in the new year as the pandemic continues to exacerbate gun violence and after a year of increased gun sales, increased risk of suicide and domestic violence, and an increase in city gun violence. In the last few weeks, Los Angeles has also seen an uptick of police violence, including five fatal Los Angeles Police Department shootings in nine days.
This past legislative session, lawmakers in California passed life-saving legislation to address police violence and city gun violence, including historic investment in violence intervention programs. This year, lawmakers should protect Californians by supporting gun safety bills that would reduce gun deaths and save lives, starting with AB 452, first of its kind legislation to require schools to send home information about secure firearm storage, and AB 988, legislation to create a crisis line for people having a mental health crisis.
Legislation on the table in California:
- SB 299, legislation to ensure that victims of excessive use of force by law enforcement are able to utilize victim compensation.
- AB 988, legislation to create an alternative dispatch crisis hotline for mental health calls that does not require a direct line to law enforcement.
- AB 452, legislation to require schools to notify parents and guardians about secure storage laws.
What to know about gun violence in California:
- In California, on average, 3,090 people are shot and killed with a gun every year, and 6,843 more are wounded. Thankfully, with strong gun safety laws, California is one of the few states in the country that has decreased gun violence in the last decade.
- Firearms are the second-leading cause of death for children and teens in California. In an average year, 240 children and teens die by gun in California, and 73% of these deaths are homicides. Black children and teens are six times as likely as their white peers to die by guns.
- Gun violence costs California $22.6 billion each year, of which $1.2 billion is paid by taxpayers.
Statistics about gun violence in California are available here, and Everytown’s Gun Law Navigator – which shows how California gun laws compare to those of other states – is available here.
If you have questions, or to request an interview with a volunteer from California Moms Demand Action or Students Demand Action, please don’t hesitate to reach out.