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California seeks to toughen gun laws

California seeks to toughen gun laws
Photo: California Governor's Office

In the wake of multiple mass shootings that killed 19 Californians in just 72 hours last week, Governor Gavin Newsom, Attorney General Rob Bonta and Senator Anthony Portantino this week announced new carry-on legislation to modernize and strengthen California's public transportation laws.

"Only in the United States do we see the kind of carnage and mayhem of gun violence that destroys our communities and our sense of safety and belonging," Governor Gavin Newsom said while recalling that the United States is number one in possession of guns. and far exceeds all developed nations on earth in terms of deaths from firearms.

“In California, we have passed common-sense gun safety laws and they work: We have a gun death rate 37 percent lower than the national average. We are doubling down on gun safety and strengthening our public carry law to protect guns from attacks by radical Republicans."

The action becomes relevant, when just last June, the US Supreme Court struck down a New York law, whose aspects reflected California public carry laws, so the newly announced legislation would make the necessary corrections to update the standards and processes for obtaining a permit to carry in the golden state.

If this new legislation is approved? Senate Bill 2? California's restrictions on public transportation of weapons laws would be strengthened; it would improve the existing licensing system, ensuring that those who are permitted to carry firearms in public are responsible and law-abiding individuals.

In addition, it would protect minors by establishing a minimum age requirement of 21 years to obtain a CCW or carrying a concealed weapon license; would ensure the proper handling, loading, unloading and storage of firearms; and would establish safe community places where people should expect to be free from gun violence.

“The mass shooting incidents we have seen in recent weeks bring to light the need for stronger protections for our communities. The fact is that people who are not law-abiding and responsible citizens simply should not own firearms, and especially should not be allowed to carry a concealed weapon in public. When a weapon is placed in the wrong hands, it is deadly.said California Attorney General Rob Bonta.

In this sense, the state official stressed that the Second Amendment "is not a regulatory straitjacket", and communities must be protected. 

“The time for thoughts and prayers is long overdue, we need immediate and courageous action from our leaders, here in California and beyond. We owe our community stronger protections. I urge our state leaders to quickly adopt SB 2. We cannot afford to wait another minute." 

Senator Anthony Portantino said that in the wake of the recent tragedies in Monterey Park and Half Moon Bay, and the continuing threat of mass shootings, "it is critical that California take the lead on gun reform and safety." 

Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action, noted that the Supreme Court's reckless Bruen decision opened the floodgates for more guns in more places, but with this bill, California once again renewed its commitment to be a national leader in fight against armed violence. 

According to the Center for American Progress, efforts to weaken concealed carry laws across the country have increased violent crime: Studies show gun homicides increased 22 percent in states that passed carry without permit laws and violent firearms crime increased 29 percent.

In 2022, Newsom signed a package of gun safety laws, making it easier for Californians to sue the makers of illegal assault weapons and those who spread them, allowing lawsuits against irresponsible members of the gun industry, strengthening ghost gun bans and restricts trade to minors.

California also launched an 18-month campaign to promote gun violence restraining orders, "red flag laws," which allow law enforcement, family members, co-workers, or friends to petition a court to temporarily remove weapons of people who are considered dangerous to themselves or others. 

A 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 since 2016.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ?CDC, for its acronym in English? , California's firearm death rate was the 44th lowest in the country, with 8.5 firearm deaths per 100,000 people, compared to 13.7 deaths per 100,000 nationally, 28.6 in Mississippi, 20.7 in Oklahoma and 14.2 in Texas.

You may be interested in: Should violent acts against homeless people be considered hate crimes?

Pamela Cruz
Pamela Cruz
Editor-in-Chief of Peninsula 360 Press. A communicologist by profession, but a journalist and writer by conviction, with more than 10 years of media experience. Specialized in medical and scientific journalism at Harvard and winner of the International Visitors Leadership Program scholarship from the U.S. government.

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