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Giffords Praises Governor Newsom for Signing Gun Safety Bills

Washington, DC — Giffords, the gun violence prevention organization co-founded by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, applauded Governor Newsom for his continued leadership on gun safety . As California’s legislative session came to a close this week, Governor Newsom signed multiple gun safety bills, including Giffords-backed legislation to ensure more handguns sold and manufactured in California come equipped with lifesaving safety features to prevent accidental shootings and help solve gun crimes. This year, Governor Newsom also signed budget legislation to preserve critically needed funding for community-based violence intervention programs and to expedite effective implementation of California’s laws regulating the sale of ghost gun products. 

Earlier this week, a coalition led by California’s Attorney General and Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence also filed a lawsuit against the Trump Administration to demand that the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) properly recognize and regulate ghost guns as firearms. 

Statement from Ari Freilich, Giffords Law Center State Policy Director:

“Governor Newsom and California lawmakers made clear in word and action, that California is the national leader  on gun safety.  Their courage matters: if our country’s gun death rate were as low as California’s, we could have saved nearly 100,000 people’s lives over the last decade and prevented hundreds of thousands more from suffering life-altering gunshot wounds. 

“The fight is not over. Next year we’ll continue working together to build on California’s progress, strengthen investment in violence prevention, and make sure every person can live free from gun violence.” 

Governor Newsom signed multiple gun safety bills this year, including:

  • AB 2847 (Chiu) – Unsafe Handgun Act Reform: This bill follows recommendations from organizations ranging from Giffords to the International Association for Chiefs of Police and American Bar Association to reform California’s consumer protection laws by requiring the gun industry to develop safer, microstamping handguns equipped with features that help prevent accidental shootings and solve gun crimes.

  • AB 2617 (Gabriel) – Extreme Risk Laws: In 2014, California led the nation by enacting the first Extreme Risk law (also known as a Gun Violence Restraining Order). Six years later, nearly 20 states have similarly empowered courts to take proactive, evidence-based steps to prevent shootings before they occur. This bill will help ensure that people who have been found to present a clear risk of violence by courts in these other states cannot simply cross state lines and acquire deadly weapons in California.

  • AB 2362 (Muratsuchi) – Gun Dealer Accountability: ATF data confirms that corrupt or irresponsible firearm dealers are the leading source of guns on the black market. This legislation will help strengthen gun dealer accountability and oversight by authorizing California’s Department of Justice to fine gun dealers for failing to correct persistent, irresponsible conduct.

  • AB 2061 (Limon) – Ammunition Dealer Accountability: This bill would strengthen the California Department of Justice’s ability to inspect licensed gun dealers, ammunition vendors, and manufacturers to ensure safe and responsible compliance with the law. 

This year, Governor Newsom also signed critical policing reform legislation endorsed by Giffords, including AB 1196 (Gipson), which seeks to eliminate law enforcement’s use of dangerous chokeholds and neck restraints—conduct that led to the murders of George Floyd, Eric Garner, and too many others. And in the midst of a budget crisis, Governor Newsom and the Legislature provided continued critical new investments in CalVIP (The California Violence Intervention and Prevention grant program), helping to keep frontline violence intervention professionals on the job working to interrupt cycles of violence in disadvantaged communities. Broader reforms, like Senator Bradford’s SB 731, and stronger investment in programs like CalVIP, will be needed to help prevent police violence, reform practices that fuel broader root causes of community violence, build safety, and save lives. 

California has comprehensively strengthened its gun safety laws over the past generation, and Giffords Law Center’s 2019Gun Law Scorecard ranked California’s gun safety laws as the strongest in the nation. Between 1993, when Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence was founded in California, and 2018 (the most recent year for which CDC fatal injury data is available), California’s gun homicide rate fell by 66%, dropping nearly twice as much as the rest of the nation.  The gun homicide rate among minors in California dropped by a remarkable 84%. By 2018, minors were about half as likely to be killed by a gun in California compared to the rest of the nation. Since 1993, California also cut its rate of gun suicides nearly in half, while the national gun suicide rate increased over the same period.

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