Giffords Law Center Applauds San Mateo County Effort to Reduce Gun Violence
Redwood City, CA – Today, Giffords Law Center applauded the announcement that the County of San Mateo, California, will be launching a new Gun Violence Prevention Program in a major effort to reduce gun violence. The new program includes the courts, law enforcement, prosecutors and other key government agencies, as well as community-based organizations working together to ensure those who become prohibited from having firearms and ammunition in fact comply with that prohibition. This cutting-edge program can be a model for other localities.
Julia Weber, Implementation Director at Giffords Law Center:
“San Mateo County’s deep commitment to taking a comprehensive and countywide approach to reducing risk and increasing safety by dedicating resources to this issue is commendable and should serve as a model for communities across the state and the country. Fair and effective implementation of gun safety policies and procedures saves lives and we’ve been honored to be a part of the cutting-edge work being done in San Mateo County.”
Dave Pine, Vice President of San Mateo County Board of Supervisors:
“When someone is convicted of a serious crime or is the subject of certain restraining orders, a series of policies and laws enable law enforcement to ensure that gun owners relinquish their firearms. The focus of the forum we held in March was finding ways to improve that system and this effort and funding will go a long way to make better use of existing tools to keep those guns off the street.”
More on the San Mateo County Gun Violence Prevention Program:
This new program will implement new procedures to inform those who are prohibited from owning a firearm (including those who have been convicted of domestic violence and other firearm-prohibiting crimes or are subject to a restraining order and an associated firearms relinquishment order) about how they comply by relinquishing any currently owned firearms. Additionally, by conducting appropriate follow-up, including reviewing cases to ensure compliance, the County is implementing key promising and cutting edge practices that will help reduce risk and save lives.
Giffords Law Center has been working with the County in support of these efforts including co-sponsoring the forum in March of this year to discuss implementation of statewide policies designed to reduce gun violence. Soon after, the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors pledged $2 million to keep firearms out of the hands of individuals prohibited from possessing guns, including owners who are convicted of a violent crime or are subject to a domestic violence or workplace restraining order.
California has laws on the books that give state and local authorities the legal means to remove firearms from individuals who have lost their ability to legally possess guns due to violent crimes, serious mental illness, active restraining orders and other causes. Implementation of those policies is critical to saving lives and reducing risk.
Communities across the U.S. are working on implementing ways to fairly and effectively ensure that those who our courts have determined should not have firearms, as close to when that order is issued as possible, comply.
Giffords has been working similarly with others throughout the country on increasing safety in our communities through implementing firearm prohibitions in domestic violence and other matters. Most recently, Giffords was successful in advocating for $40 million in the California state budget to be allocated to courts and law enforcement to support implementation of domestic violence and civil firearm prohibiting policies. Approaches like San Mateo County’s are what the funding is designed to support.
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