Giffords applauds California lawmakers for robust action on top gun safety priorities

Giffords, the gun safety organization co-founded by former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, applauded California lawmakers for passing a strong package of gun safety reforms into law, including multiple priority bills and critical new investments in California’s Budget Act championed by Giffords advocates.

“California’s leaders have shown that we can turn our sorrow and outrage into action to build a safer future together,” said Ari Freilich, Giffords State Policy Director. “We can demand more accountability and responsibility from the firearm industry, stop the sale of untraceable ghost guns, promote victims’ safety and access to justice, invest in prevention programs that break cycles of violence, and show the nation what meaningful gun safety reform can do. This is a real and meaningful package of reforms that will make California a safer place tomorrow than it was yesterday.”

Governor Gavin Newsom has already signed the state’s budget and two bills that take immediate effect on ghost gun reform and limiting firearm marketing to minors. He is expected to act soon to sign a broad package of gun safety bills, including Giffords’s top priorities below:

AB 1594 (Ting): The Firearm Industry Responsibility Act. This bill establishes a strong firearm industry standard of conduct, requiring the industry to take reasonable steps to prevent threats to life and safety and to stop commerce in abnormally dangerous weaponry. Critically, this law will ensure that victims harmed by illegal firearm industry acts can seek fair justice in the courts.

AB 1621 (Gipson): Comprehensive ghost gun reform. This bill takes effect immediately, providing urgent relief to stop the proliferation of unregulated, untraceable ghost gun kits that have devastated communities across California. Effective immediately, “80 percent receivers” and core components of gun build kits will be subject to the same gun safety laws as fully assembled guns.

AB 2156 (Wicks): Responsible gun manufacturing and 3D-printed guns. The bill requires individuals and companies manufacturing more than three firearms per year, or any firearms from a 3D-printer, to obtain a state-issued license and comply with responsible manufacturing laws such as employee background checks and safety standards.

AB 2571 (Bauer-Kahan): Stopping firearm industry advertising to minors. This bill takes effect immediately, preventing the firearm industry from marketing firearms to minors.

AB 452 (Friedman): Informing parents about safe storage laws. This bill would require school districts to routinely provide information to the parents of K–12 students about California’s laws requiring safe storage of firearms to prevent access by unsupervised children.

California’s Budget Act: The state budget signed yesterday includes significant investments for critical priorities championed by Giffords and our partners, including:

Protecting survivors through the nation’s largest court-based firearm relinquishment program. California lawmakers invested $40 million to establish a new court-based program to employ personnel dedicated to promoting victims’ safety and ensuring that people who become subject to court orders like domestic violence restraining orders, gun violence restraining orders, and other protection orders promptly and safely relinquish their guns. Giffords and the California Partnership to End Domestic Violence organized a coalition advocating to establish this program and leaders in the legislature made it a top priority.

Investments in violence intervention. California lawmakers appropriated $75 million in community-based violence intervention and prevention programs as part of a record three-year investment in the CalVIP program launched last year. Establishing and funding this program has been Giffords’s top priority in California. On June 9, Newsom announced the first round of $156 million in grant awards to launch and expand violence intervention efforts by 79 cities and community-based organizations statewide. These funds are also being awarded to programs that provide training and mental health support to frontline violence intervention professionals.

Investments in gun violence research. California lawmakers invested $3 million to sustain and expand the work of the University of California Firearm Violence Research Center, which was the nation’s first state-funded academic research center dedicated to researching causes and solutions for the nation’s epidemic of gun violence.

Treating Violence as a Public Health Issue: Effective July 1, 2022, California’s Medi-Cal program will provide health coverage for violence prevention counseling and support services for victims of gun violence, people chronically exposed to gun violence, and others identified by healthcare professionals as high need for violence intervention services. In 2019, Giffords worked with California Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel and partners at the Health Alliance for Violence Intervention and Youth Alive to draft the nation’s first bill to establish Medicaid coverage for violence prevention programs. After continued advocacy from Giffords and our partners, California’s Deptment of Health Care Services acted to make that proposal a reality and AB 1929 (Gabriel) is moving quickly to Governor Newsom’s desk this year to make this new coverage program permanent.