Why Won’t Government Treat Gun Violence as a Public Health Problem?

  • Imagine lawmakers allowing lead to remain in gasoline because of the oil and gas lobby.
  • Imagine them allowing secondhand smoke in public places because of the tobacco lobby.
  • Imagine lawmakers allowing unvetted people to train in the US as pilots because of the flight school lobby. Imagine them allowing people to board planes with box cutters because of the hand tool lobby.

Pretty ridiculous except that’s exactly why we have the parade of bloody AR-15 massacres–the gun lobby.

Why don’t the pols who consistently defeat assault weapon bans, improved background checks, ammunition control and laws against gun trafficking, crooked dealers and straw buyers, tell their constituents the truth–hey, we’re sorry some of you are getting killed out there but we are afraid of the NRA.  More…

 

Time to push for national background-check law

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. As we ponder how to lower the number of people who are killed by intimate partners, we must examine the part that the presence of guns plays in making bad situations worse.

In households with a history of domestic violence, there is 20 times more risk of a woman being killed if a gun is present compared with households without guns. Similarly, women make up more than 75 percent of people stalked, and a gun is used to harm or threaten them in 1 in 5 cases. The risk of a homicide for women increases by 500 percent when a gun is present during domestic violence.

Fifty-four percent of women who are killed with guns are killed by an intimate partner or a family member. Women in the U.S. are 11 times more likely to be murdered with guns than women in other high-income countries. The federal law prohibiting people convicted of domestic abuse misdemeanors from possessing guns is ineffective because there is no national background check law that covers all gun sales, including the Internet and gun shows.

California has some of the strongest gun laws in the nation, but most of the guns used in California crimes come from Arizona, Nevada and Alaska, where gun laws are lax. We must take action to lessen this danger! Contact your representative or senator to urge a national background-check law.

Sue Rothman

Stockton

Stockton Record

Poll: 9 in 10 Americans STILL support gun background checks

Nearly 90% of Americans support background checks, a number basically unchanged from polls taken in the aftermath of last year’s massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary school, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released on Wednesday. Support for background checks among voters in gun-owning households also remained high, with 88% in favor of the checks. See the full story

Beware of the “Law-Abiding Citizen”

Highlights from a blog from the National Gun Victims Action Council:

Every insane US gun law on the books is based on the fiction of the “law-abiding citizen”. The NRA says law-abiding citizens (a.k.a. “good guys”) will always follow the law so there is no need for them to endure regulations. But this is absurd…..The truth is:

  •  All criminals were once law-abiding citizens
  • “Normal “people (not classified as mentally ill) can become enraged and  reach for an easy tool ( a nearby gun) to kill one or many people.

In fact, all the high-profile US shootings from Virginia Tech to Tucson to Aurora to Newtown were committed by so-called “law-abiding citizens,” who had no criminal histories. Read more and see some examples of previous law abiding citizens….

 

 

 

Join the Brady Campaign and others to Prevent Gun Violence

ATTN: ALL GUN VIOLENCE PREVENTION PARTNERS

IT’S TIME TO SPEAK OUT  ….We need all hands on deck !    

VIGIL AT THE STATE CAPITOL IN SACRAMENTO 

Thursday, October 10, 2013      6:30-8:30 pm

A vigil remembering victims of gun violence in California since Newtown and a push for gun reform measures on Governor Brown’s desk, awaiting his signature.

The plan is to start with some statements from key leaders about the need for the legislation, then proceed to reading the names of the 1,128 California victims of gun violence since Newtown.

Come help us to read the names of the California victims!

 

Bill on California’s governor’s desk could prevent another gun massacre

 By Julie Schardt and Judy Weldon

Special to The Bee
Published: Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013 – 12:26 am

“The assault rifles within the scope of SB 374 weren’t designed for hunting or home defense. They were designed for the battlefield, with the single purpose of killing as many people as possible in the shortest time possible. They are weapons of mass murder. They are available in your local Walmart.”  Read more here…..

 

Bills Awaiting Action by the Governor of California

Cleveland School Remembers supports The Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence efforts to promote visibility about upcoming legislation in firearm safety policy.

The bills described briefly below are awaiting action by the governor.  For a more complete summary of each bill, and other firearms-related legislation introduced in 2013, please visit The Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence  website at: http://smartgunlaws.org/tracking-state-gun-laws-2013-california-firearms-legislation/

 Priority Bills

SB 374 (Steinberg): Assault Weapons – SB 374 would simplify and strengthen California’s assault weapons ban by prohibiting the manufacture, sale or possession of any semiautomatic centerfire rifle capable of accepting a detachable ammunition magazine. Owners of weapons that would have been legal prior to the enactment of SB 374 would be required to register them with DOJ.

AB 48 (Skinner): Strengthening Large Capacity Ammunition Magazine Ban – AB 48 would prohibit the use of “conversion kits” to manufacture large capacity ammunition magazines. It would also prohibit the purchase of large capacity ammunition magazines and tighten the definition of “manufacture” in the current law to clarify that manufacturing includes assembling the parts of a magazine.

AB 180 (Bonta): Exempting Oakland from State Preemption of Firearms Registration and Licensing – State law currently preempts local governments from requiring the registration of guns or licensing of gun owners. AB 180 would create an exemption for the City of Oakland—a community particularly ravaged by gun violence.

  AB 500 (Ammiano): Storage of Firearms in Homes with Prohibited Persons, Waiting Period Extension and Firearm Transfer Notifications – AB 500 would require any gun owner residing with a person who is prohibited from owning firearms under state or federal law to either: 1) keep the firearm within a locked container, locked gun safe, locked trunk, locked with a locking device, or disabled by a firearm safety device; or 2) carry the firearm on his or her person.

AB 500 would also clarify that the ten-day waiting period between the sale of a firearm and its transfer to the purchaser may be extended an additional 30 days if DOJ is unable to determine the outcome of a mental health evaluation, unable to interpret arrest or criminal charge records, or unable to determine whether the purchaser is attempting to purchase a second handgun in a 30-day period in violation of California law, prior to the end of the waiting period.

  SB 755 (Wolk): Expanding Categories of Prohibited Persons – SB 755 would prohibit several potentially dangerous categories of persons from possessing firearms, including those who have been convicted of illegally possessing ammunition. The bill would also prohibit a person from possessing a firearm if he or she has been convicted of two or more specified crimes involving intoxication or possession of a controlled substance within a three-year period. Additionally, SB 755 would prohibit a person from possessing any firearm while receiving court-ordered assisted outpatient treatment for mental illness (unless the court orders otherwise).

  SB 299 (DeSaulnier): Reporting of Lost or Stolen Firearms – SB 299 would require any person whose firearm is lost or stolen to make a report to local law enforcement within 7 days from the time the person knew or should have known that the firearm was lost or stolen.

Other Bills to Reduce Gun Violence

 SB 683 (Block): Firearm Safety Certificate – Under current California law, “handgun safety certificates” issued by DOJ, which require the applicant to take and pass a written test on firearm safety, are required for the purchase of a handgun, but not for the purchase of a long gun. SB 683 would expand the safety certificate requirement to apply to purchases of all firearms. This requirement would not apply to long guns owned by persons with valid hunting licenses.

AB 169 (Dickenson): Strengthening Unsafe Handgun Law – State law prohibits the manufacture or retail sale of an unsafe handgun, but transfers of unsafe handguns between private parties and purchases and sales by law enforcement officers are exempt from this prohibition. AB 169 would limit the sale of unsafe handguns between private parties to two per year and prohibit law enforcement from transferring unsafe handguns to individuals who are not similarly exempted from the unsafe handgun prohibition.

 AB 1131 (Skinner): Mental Health Related Prohibitions – Current law prohibits a person who communicates to a licensed psychotherapist a serious threat of physical violence against a reasonably identifiable victim or victims from possessing a firearm for six months following the psychotherapist’s reporting of the threat to local law enforcement. The bill would change this prohibition from six months to five years. AB 1131 would also amend existing laws that require the reporting of mental health information to DOJ to clarify that these reports must made within 2 courts days if the report is made by a court and within 24 hours if the report is made by a healthcare facility.

 SB 127 (Gaines): Reporting of Mental Health Threats – Current law prohibits a person from possessing a firearm for a period of six months after communicating a serious threat of physical violence against a reasonably identifiable victim or victims to a licensed psychotherapist. SB 127 would require the licensed psychotherapist to make the report any such threat to local law enforcement within 24 hours in a manner prescribed by DOJ. The bill would also require the local law enforcement agency receiving the report to notify DOJ electronically, within 24 hours, in a manner prescribed by DOJ.

Take Action – Support LIFE Act Firearm Legislation

Support the California Senate’s package of gun violence prevention bills known as the LIFE (Life-saving Intelligent Firearms Enforcement) Act.

  • SB 374 (Steinberg): Would strengthen and simplify the state’s assault weapons ban by prohibiting the future sale of semi-automatic centerfire rifles capable of accepting detachable ammunition magazines, and would close gaps in state records by requiring firearm owners to submit records for such rifles acquired after 2001 to the Department of Justice;
  • SB 396 (Hancock): Would prohibit the possession of large capacity ammunition magazines, some of which can hold up to 100 rounds of ammunition;
  • SB 53 (De Leon): Would prevent convicted criminals from being able to purchase ammunition by requiring ammunition buyers to become authorized to purchase ammunition by passing a complete background check;
  • SB 683 (Block): Would improve firearms education by requiring all firearm purchasers – not just handgun purchasers, as required by current law – to pass an objective written test on firearm safety before acquiring a weapon;
  • SB 47 (Yee): Would close a loophole in the state’s assault weapons ban that currently allows the sale of assault weapons equipped with a “bullet button,” a device that enables a firearm user to quickly reload by switching ammunition magazines;
  • SB 755 (Wolk): Would prevent dangerous people from acquiring guns by expanding the categories of people prohibited from possessing firearms to include individuals with convictions for drug and alcohol offenses and other serious misdemeanors;
  • SB 567 (Jackson): Would improve the definition of “shotgun” so that rifled bore shotguns with revolving ammunition cylinders would be properly designated as assault weapons and therefore prohibited.

Send this letter to the Governor 

Beware The “Law Abiding Citizen”

 

Every insane gun law we have is based on the fiction of the “law-abiding citizen.” The NRA says law-abiding citizens (a.k.a. “good guys”) will always follow the law so there is no need for them to endure regulations. But this is absurd. The truth is, all criminals were once law-abiding citizens. In fact, all the high-profile US shootings from Virginia Tech to Tucson to Aurora to Newtown were committed by “law-abiding citizens.” Each week,Beware the “Law-Abiding Citizen” will highlight a law-abiding citizen turned murderer thanks to our insane gun laws.

See the full article…

 

Success in Enacting Smart Gun Laws

 

Read this Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence publication,, it examines the history of success in enacting smart gun laws in California and discusses how those laws have contributed to a significant drop in gun death rates in the state.The study highlights these key points:

  • Gun violence is not a problem without solutions
  • We know what works and we have seen the difference it has made in California, and we’re already seeing the same success in states around the country

In 1989, a catastrophic event changed the perception of gun violence in California. A gunman took an assault rifle to Cleveland Elementary School in Stockton, where he killed five children and wounded 29 others as well as one teacher. The parallels between the  Cleveland Elementary School shooting and the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut are very similar, including young victims, a troubled gunman, and a military-style rifle.

The Stockton shooting shocked California and the nation, igniting calls for change. California  legislature responded to the demand for action, adopting the first assault weapons ban in the country that same year.

Read the full The California Model: Twenty Years of Putting Safety First Report.