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California Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action Celebrate Introduction of Bill Aimed at Preventing Hate Crimes and Supporting Implementation of Gun Violence Restraining Order Law

February 16, 2024

SACRAMENTO — The California chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots network, issued the following statement celebrating Assemblymember Rick Zbur’s introduction of AB 2917. The measure aims to update California’s nationally recognized Gun Violence Restraining Order (GVRO) law. 

“Fighting gun violence is not about checking a box with a law or policy – it’s about thinking  about ways we can make our prevention measures fairer, more accessible and stronger to combat this crisis,” said Liz Russell, a gun violence survivor and volunteer with the California chapter of Moms Demand Action. “By ensuring courts are considering threats of hate-based violence and armed extremism when deciding whether to issue a GVRO, Californians will undoubtedly be safer. We thank Assemblymember Zbur for his continued commitment to the fight against gun violence, and we look forward to working with lawmakers to send this bill to Governor Newsom’s desk.” 

Under the proposed measure, the policy would draw the civil court’s attention to a broader set of risk factors — including threats of violence made against individuals or groups protected by California’s hate crimes law and threats of violence to advance political objectives. For example, if a person is giving warning signs that they intend to carry out violence in the name of extremist ideology and/or fueled by hate-driven motivations, action must be taken to disrupt their access to firearms. In recent years – there has been a rise in hate-motivated attacks, including the 2018 Pittsburgh Tree of Life synagogue shooting, the 2019 El Paso Texas Walmart shooting, the 2019 Chabad of Poway synagogue shooting in California, and the 2022 Buffalo supermarket shooting.

This year, Everytown’s state gun law rankings show whether states’ rankings increased or decreased over the past year, reflecting progress made by passing common-sense gun safety policies or setbacks as a result of enacting dangerous measures backed by the gun lobby. Everytown’s analysis found that California continues to rank first in the nation for the strength of its gun laws.

In an average year, 3,253 people die and 7,293 are wounded by guns in California. California ranks 45th in both  gun death rates and societal cost of gun violence at $1,060 per person each year. Gun deaths and injuries cost California $41.9 billion, of which $1.1 billion is paid by taxpayers. More information about gun violence in California is available here.

More from: Moms Demand Action

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