The Governor Gavin Newsom signed legislation Thursday to confront the gun industry and take guns off California's streets after gun violence is the leading cause of death among children in the U.S.
"From our schools to our parks to our homes, our children deserve to be safe; in California, we're making it happen. As the Supreme Court reverses important gun safety protections and states across the country treat gun violence as inevitable, California is doubling down on common-sense gun safety measures that save lives," Newsom said.
"Our children's lives are at stake and we are putting everything on the table to respond to this crisis," he stressed.
The legislation signed Thursday takes direct aim at the gun lobby and manufacturers who prey on minors.
Thus, Newsom signed AB 2571, which bans the marketing of firearms to minors following recent efforts by the gun industry to appeal to minors, such as Wee 1 Tactical advertising the sale of a JR-15, an AR-15 aimed at children, complete with cartoon children's skulls with pacifiers.
"Guns are not toys, they are deadly weapons," said Assemblywoman Rebecca Bauer-Kahan.
"California has some of the strictest gun laws in the country and it is unconscionable that we still allow the advertisement of weapons of war to our children. Our children have the right to live long, happy lives, free from gun violence," he said.
Also on Thursday, the governor signed AB 1621, which further restricts ghost guns, which are intentionally made untraceable, as well as the parts used to build them.
The Los Angeles Police Department called ghost guns an "epidemic," which contributed to more than 100 violent crimes in Los Angeles last year alone.
"Alarmingly, we are finding that increasingly, no region or demographic group is exempt from gun violence: our hospitals, supermarkets, schools and even places of worship are no longer safe. The proliferation of ghost guns, which are intentionally untraceable weapons to evade law enforcement, has only made the problem worse," said Assemblyman Mike Gipson.
"Following the enactment of AB 1621 into law, I applaud Governor Gavin Newsom for his leadership and unwavering commitment to eradicating the rampant wildfire of gun violence currently plaguing our streets and shelters," he stressed.
Earlier this month, Governor Newsom announced a record $156 million in gun violence prevention grants provided as part of the California Violence Prevention and Intervention Grant Program - CalVIP.
The funds will support 79 cities and nonprofit organizations that are implementing anti-violence programs tailored to the unique needs of their local communities.
According to the Giffords Law Center, in 2021, California ranked as the best state in the country for gun safety.
As the state tightened its gun laws, it saw a gun death rate 37 percent lower than the national average, while Florida and Texas, with lax gun regulations, saw double-digit increases in gun death rates.
As a result of California's actions, the state has cut the rate of gun deaths in half and Californians are 25 percent less likely to die in a mass shooting compared to people in other states.
A recent study by the Violence Prevention Research Program at the University of California, Davis, found that California's red flag law was used to stop 58 threatened mass shootings.
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