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WHAT’S AT STAKE TODAY: Senate Appropriations Committee Considers the Gun Violence Prevention and School Safety Act

September 1, 2023

Today, lawmakers in the Senate Appropriations Committee will consider The Gun Violence Prevention and School Safety Act (AB 28). The measure, introduced by gun sense champion California State Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel, seeks to establish the Gun Violence Prevention and School Safety Fund. If signed into law, this transformational bill would provide vital resources to life-saving programs — including the California Violence Intervention and Prevention (CalVIP) grant program. 

Programs funded by the legislation will improve school safety around California, support community-based efforts to break cycles of violence, provide trauma-informed support to help the victims of mass shootings heal, improve coordination and implementation of California’s gun safety laws and more. The funding would come from a modest industry tax on businesses selling firearms and ammunition, which is estimated to generate $160 million in new funding per year to support these life-saving programs outside the state budget process. 

A snapshot of some of the ways The Gun Violence Prevention and School Safety Act would transform California’s fight against gun violence: 

  • New Resources for Community Violence Intervention and Prevention: 
    • This measure would allocate $75 million per year in new funding to the CalVIP grant program.
    • The long-term funding would give CalVIP grant recipients the ability to build out staff hiring, scale up effective programs, and ensure longer-term ability to meet community needs.
  • New Resources for Schools to Address the Risk of Gun Violence: 
    • AB 28 is expected to generate $50 million per year in new funding to address risk factors for gun violence affecting K-12 students. 
    • This new funding would support school-based mental health and behavioral services, training for teachers and support staff, physical security improvements, and physical safety assessments. 
  • New Resources to Promptly Remove Illegal Guns from Prohibited Possessors, Including Domestic Abusers and Violent Felons:
    • AB 28 is expected to generate $15 million per year in new funding to support a court-based firearm relinquishment grant program, which would ensure prompt, consistent, and safe removal of firearms from individuals who become prohibited from owning them due to a criminal conviction or other court order – protecting those at-risk before tragedy strikes. 
    • Relinquishment can be safest and most efficient when it occurs at the time a court issues a possession-prohibiting criminal conviction or civil order, but many courts lack ongoing funding for this critically important work.  
  • New Resources for Law Enforcement Investigating Gun Homicide Cases:
    • If passed, the measure would generate $15 million per year in new funding for a Justice for Victims of Gun Violence Grant Program. 
    • This funding would directly go towards supporting evidence-based practices to equitably improve investigations and clearance rates in firearm homicide investigations in communities disproportionately impacted by gun violence. 
  • New Resources to Support Victims of Mass Shootings and Chronic Exposure to Gun Violence
    • AB 28 will also allocate $2.5 million per year in new funding to provide counseling and trauma-informed support services to victims of mass shootings and people who have experienced chronic exposure to gun violence.

In another major step for gun violence prevention in California, lawmakers in the Assembly Appropriations Committee will be considering SB 2. The measure authored by gun sense champion California State Senator Anthony Portantino seeks to strengthen California’s concealed carry laws following the Supreme Court’s decision in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen. The Bruen decision struck down an important provision of New York State’s concealed carry permitting law, invalidating a similar law in California. 

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

If you are interested in speaking with a California Moms Demand Action or Students Demand Action volunteer, please reach out to [email protected].

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