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.