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Victory For Gun Safety: Governor Gavin Newsom Wins California Recall Election

September 15, 2021

Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action Volunteers Spent Hundreds of Hours Making Thousands of Calls and Organizing During the Recall Election

Governor Newsom Has Signed Seven Gun Safety Bills, Allocated More Than $230 Million During His Tenure

SACRAMENTO— Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund and Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown, released the following statements after Governor Gavin Newsom won his recall race for Governor of California.  

“Californians decisively re-elected a gun sense champion and rejected a gun lobby lackey,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action. “This is a huge victory for public safety and another proof point that voters reward politicians who prioritize ending gun violence. Whether it’s fully funding gun violence intervention programs, embracing police reform, or stopping ghost guns, Governor Newsom has shown up for gun safety, and Moms Demand Action volunteers were proud to show up for him.”

“This is more than just a victory for gun safety — it’s a victory for gun violence survivors,” said Cindy Montoya, a gun violence survivor and volunteer leader with California Moms Demand Action in Los Angeles. “Governor Newsom has always been a champion for survivors. Knowing he is in office makes me feel seen, heard, and respected. I know that he will continue to prioritize the voices and experiences of survivors and fight to make sure no one else ever has to join this unwanted club.”

“Californians can breathe a sigh of relief tonight,” said Roan Thibault, volunteer leader with Students Demand Action in La Crescenta Valley. “For weeks, students across the state called, texted, and tweeted to tell Californians to keep Governor Newsom in office because we know the importance of having someone in office who will continue to fight to end the gun violence public health crisis.”

Over the past few weeks, Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action have spent hundreds of hours organizing to make sure that gun sense champion, Governor Newsom, stays in office. Volunteers spent hundreds of  hours making thousands of calls to remind people to vote in the election. 

Governor Newsom has signed seven gun safety bills during his tenure including several police reform bills and legislation to regulate ghost guns. Without the tireless work of Governor Newsom and his team, California would not have one of the lowest rates of gun violence in the country. 

In the last three years alone, Governor Newsom has also allocated a historic $239 million in funding for CalVIP, a state grant program that supports effective, community-based violence intervention programs across the state. Many of the programs, which apply a public health model to gun violence, have become even more critical during the pandemic taking on two public health crises — gun violence and the coronavirus. The election comes just as two local violence intervention workers were shot and killed in Los Angeles — once again showing the importance of funding critical violence intervention programs and prioritizing gun safety in the state.  

This session, Governor Newsom has more opportunities to support gun safety with several bills moving to his desk including SB 2, legislation to eliminate qualified immunity; AB 490, legislation to expand restrictions around chokeholds; AB 1057, legislation to expand extreme risk protection orders to ghost guns, and SB 715, ensuring increased accountability. The bills need to be signed by Oct.10. 

California is no stranger to gun violence, but in the decade prior to the start of the pandemic — in large part due to strong gun safety policies — gun deaths have decreased 6% in the state, compared to a 17% increase nationwide. And, the rates of gun suicide and gun homicide have also decreased, respectively. Currently, on average, over 3,000 people are shot and killed and over 6,800 others are wounded by guns every year in California. 

Statistics about gun violence in California are available here, and Everytown’s Gun Law Navigator – which shows how California’s gun laws compare to those of other states – is available here

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