Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund Inc.

05/23/2024 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 05/22/2024 20:31

As California Marks 10 Years Since the Isla Vista Killings, California Assembly Passes Legislation to Strengthen Nation-Leading GVRO Law

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The California chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety's grassroots network, issued the following joint statement alongside Assemblymember Rick Chavez Zbur celebrating the passage of AB 2917, the Hate-Based Gun Violence Prevention Act, out of the Assembly and to the Senate. This bill draws the civil court's attention to a broader set of risk factors in the court's analysis of whether to issue a GVRO - including threats of violence made against individuals or groups protected by California's hate crimes law and threats of violence to advance political objectives.

"We thank every lawmaker for remembering and honoring survivors and victims of gun violence and hate crimes with meaningful action today," said Sharon Genkin, a gun violence survivor and volunteer with the California chapter of Moms Demand Action. "As we mark ten years since the Isla Vista killings, we must continue working to prevent tragedies like this from ever happening again. We look forward to continuing working with Assemblymember Zbur and the rest of the legislature to protect our communities from senseless acts of gun violence and put an end to this crisis."

"Hate-motivated violence and armed extremism are on the rise, but California has the tools necessary to prevent these threats from turning into tragedy," said Assemblymember Rick Chavez Zbur. "The Isla Vista Killings remind us of the innocent lives taken because of unchecked misogyny and hatred. Make no mistake, California's GVRO bill has been essential in preventing more tragedies like this from occurring, and the Hate-Based Gun Violence Prevention Act further serves as a reminder to civil courts that threats of violence should be taken seriously."

"No one should have to endure losing loved ones to hate-fueled violence like the families of the Isla Vista victims," said San Francisco City Attorney David Chiu, whose office launched a GVRO program and is co-sponsoring AB 2917. "The Isla Vista killings remind us that we must do everything we can to prevent gun violence. The Hate-Based Gun Violence Prevention Act can only make our communities safer by giving public law officesmore tools to prevent gun violence, save lives, and keep families together. I'm glad this commonsense bill is making its way through the legislature."

In the aftermath of the Isla Vista killings, survivors and advocates worked together to ensure California passed a Gun Violence Restraining Order (GVRO) law. This law allows family members, law enforcement, or other designated individuals to petition the court for a temporary order to remove firearms from people who pose a significant danger of harming themselves or others if able to access firearms.

According to a 2022 study, California's landmark GVRO law, was used most often by law enforcement officers to prevent firearm assault and homicide and about 80% of GVROs were used in cases of threatened interpersonal violence. In addition, the law was cited as being utilized for 58 threatened mass shootings.

In an average year, 3,299 people die and 9,787 are wounded by guns in California. California ranks 45th in both gun death rates and societal cost of gun violence at $1,060 per person each year. Gun deaths and injuries cost California $41.9 billion, of which $1.1 billion is paid by taxpayers. More information about gun violence in California is available here.