Leading the country in enacting legislation that creates safer communities
For over twenty years, the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence has worked with California municipalities and state legislators to pass some of the strongest gun safety laws in the nation. The Giffords Law Center continues to help lead California’s efforts to pass the strongest gun violence prevention laws in the nation. This year, the Giffords Law Center drafted and sponsored multiple bills, including The Disarm Hate Act (AB 785), which closes a gap in California law that permits individuals convicted of hate crimes to possess and acquire firearms within 10 years of conviction. It is awaiting action by Gov. Brown. Attorneys from the Giffords Law Center also worked with a coalition of partners to lead the effort for the inclusion of $9.2 million for the CalVIP program in the 2017 California budget. CalVIP is one of the only sources of state-level funding for locally driven violence prevention strategies. In recent years, the program’s grantee cities across California, including Los Angeles, San Jose, and Oakland, have achieved lifesaving, cost-effective reductions in both violent crime and incarceration by implementing programs that provide focused outreach, counseling, and other services to at-risk youth. Hundreds of Giffords and Giffords Law Center supporters sent their representatives letters urging them to support CalVIP funding. In March 2016, the Giffords Law Center released a groundbreaking report, Healing Communities in Crisis, highlighting the importance of locally driven violence prevention and intervention strategies—exactly the kind of solutions supported by CalVIP funding.
In 2016, the Giffords Law Center’s attorneys also partnered with Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom to draft and pass California’s landmark Proposition 63. This bold package of gun safety reforms made California the first in the nation to require a point-of-sale background check to buy ammunition. It also requires individuals convicted of serious crimes to provide proof that they relinquished all firearms after conviction, requires gun dealer employees to pass a background check, bans military-style, large-capacity magazines, and strengthens efforts to crack down on gun theft and trafficking. In previous years, Law Center attorneys were also at the forefront of efforts to develop, draft, and implement a variety of gun safety laws in California, including the nation’s first gun violence protective order law in 2013, the nation’s strongest product safety standards for guns, laws to keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers, and laws that systematically recover illegally owned firearms.
Californians would also be impacted by a gun lobby-backed bill currently under consideration in Congress. This legislation, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, would force each state to accept the concealed carry laws of every other state, even if their standards for carrying a loaded, hidden gun in public are weaker. Giffords is working with Congressional leaders and California stakeholders to highlight the public safety risks California would face from federally mandated concealed carry reciprocity.
The Giffords Law Center provides extensive, in-depth summaries of federal, state, and local firearm laws and policies. As the most comprehensive resource for information on United States gun laws, our experts at the Law Center research, write, defend, and enact the laws, policies, and programs proven to reduce gun violence and save lives.