The Safety for All Act of 2016

Gun Control
Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom
Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom

By Gavin Newsom

Gun violence destroys lives, families and communities. From 2002 to 2013, California lost 38,576 individuals to gun violence. That is more than seven times the number of U.S. soldiers killed in combat during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan combined. Over this same period, 2,258 children were killed by gunshot injuries in California. The same number of children murdered in the Sandy Hook elementary school massacre are killed by gunfire in this State every 39 days.

In 2013, guns were used to kill2,900 Californians, including 251 children and teens. That year, at least 6,035 others were hospitalized or treated in emergency rooms for non-fatal gunshot wounds, including 1,275 children and teens.

Guns are commonly used by criminals. According to the California Department of Justice, in 2014 there were 1,169 firearm murders in California, 13,546 armed robberies involving a firearm, and 15,801 aggravated assaults involving a firearm.

This tragic violence imposes significant economic burdens on our society. Researchers conservatively estimate that gun violence costs the economy at least $2+9 billion every year, or more than $700 per American per year. In 2013 alone, California gun deaths.and injuries imposed $83 million in medical costs and $4.24 billion in lost productivit)’. . •.

California can do better. Reasonable, common-sense gun laws reduce gun deaths and injuries, keep guns away from criminals and fight illegal gun trafficking. Although California has led the nation in gun safety laws, those laws still have loopholes that leave communities throughout the state vulnerable to gun violence and mass shootings. We can close these loopholes while still safeguarding the ability oflaw-abiding, responsible Californians to own guns for self-defense, hunting and recreation.

We know background checks work. Federal background checks have already prevented more than 2.4 million gun sales to convicted criminals and other illegal purchasers in America. In 2012 alone, background checks blocked 192,043 sales of firearms to illegal purchasers including 82,000 attempted purchases by felons. That means background checks stopped roughly 225 felons from buying firearms every day. Yet California law only requires background checks for people who purchase firearms, not for people who purchase ammunition. We should close that loophole so that people who are unable to buy a gun are also unable to buy the ammunition that makes guns deadly.

Right now, any violent felon or dangerously mentally ill person can walk into a sporting goods store or gun shop in California and buy ammunition, no questions asked. That should not be allowed. We should require background checks for ammunition sales just like gun sales, and stop both from getting into the hands of dangerous individuals.

Under current law, stores that sell ammunition are not required to report to law enforcement when ammunition is lost or stolen. Stores should have to report lost or stolen ammunition within 48 hours of discovering that it is missing so law enforcement can work to prevent that ammunition from being illegally trafficked into the hands of dangerous individuals.

Californians today are not required to report lost or stolen guns to law enforcement. This makes it difficult for law enforcement to investigate crimes committed with stolen guns, break¬up gun trafficking rings, and return guns to their lawful owners. We should require gun owners to report their lost or stolen guns to law enforcement.

Under current law, people who commit felonies and other serious crimes are prohibited from possessing firearms. Yet existing law provides no clear process for those people to relinquish their guns when they become prohibited at the time of conviction. As a result, in 2014, the Department of Justice identified more than 17,000 people who possess more than 34,000 guns illegally, including more than 1,400 assault weapons. We need to close this dangerous loophole by not only requiring prohibited people to turn in their guns, but also ensuring that it happens.

Military-style assault weapon magazines-some capable of holding more than 100 bullets¬significantly increase a shooter’s ability to kill a lot of people in a short amount of time. That is why assault weapon magazines are common in many of America’s most horrific mass shootings, from the killings at 101 California Street in San Francisco in 1993 to Columbine High School in 1999 to the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut in 2012.

Today, California law prohibits the manufacture, importation and sale of military-style assault weapon magazines, but does not prohibit people from possessing them. We should close that loophole to prohibit the possession of these deadly ammunition magazines in California. No one needs that many bullets to go hunting or defend themselves.

Although the State of California conducts background checks on gun buyers who live in California, we have to rely on other states and the FBI to conduct background checks on gun buyers who live elsewhere. We should make background checks outside of California more effective by consistently requiring the State to report who is prohibited from possessing firearms to the federal background check system.

Gavin Newsom is the Lt. Governor of California and the text was taken for the declaration submitted to the Secretary of State for the ballot initiative on gun control.


About The Author

Disclaimer: the views expressed by guest writers are strictly those of the author and may not reflect the views of the Vanguard, its editor, or its editorial board.

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9 thoughts on “The Safety for All Act of 2016”

  1. Frankly

    Politicians like Gavin Newsom, someone that would have an affair with the wife of a trusted friend, can absolutely not be trusted on this and many other things.

    First, banning of ARs is a non-starter.  Change the damn name of the gun to what it is used from by 99.9999999999% of the people that purchase them… target practice, shooting competition and hunting.  Politicians like Mr. Newsom don’t get to pad their political career by taking away freedoms and banning things that many Americans use and value.  Move to Argentina or Venezuela if that is your desire.

    If politicians like Mr. Newsom would just focus on background checks and improving mental health services, we would have agreement.  But by including the banning of any useful firearm he has shown his cards and deserves 100% opposition.

    1. David Greenwald

      “Politicians like Gavin Newsom, someone that would have an affair with the wife of a trusted friend, can absolutely not be trusted on this and many other things.”

      By that standard, no one in politics can be trusted on this or anything else.

    2. Don Shor

      If you want to own an “assault weapon” it seems to me you should show that you will store it responsibly and know how to use it safely. That would be a special category of license. Shooting ranges could offer secure storage. Anyone whose weapon is taken and used from an insecure storage would be liable for its use.

    3. Napoleon Pig IV

      Frankly is absolutely correct that Newsom cannot be trusted and has proven himself worthy of utter contempt. It’s a sad state of affairs that he even holds public office.

      In addition, he is not proposing anything practical, much less enforceable. He is grandstanding and contributing to global warming with every breath. Oink!!

  2. Barack Palin

    The plan here is to put more and more hurdles and costs in front of law abiding citizens in the hope that they will just say owning a gun isn’t worth the cost or the hassles.

    1. Napoleon Pig IV

      “. . . in the hope that they will just say owning a gun isn’t worth the cost or the hassles.”

      I might suggest a modification to this statement by inserting the word “legally” before the word “owning.” I don’t know very many people who own guns who would turn them in to a minion of the government because some parasite like Newsom convinced a bunch of sheep to confiscate them. Thus, by doing nothing, a lot of otherwise law-abiding citizens would become “criminals” while doing nothing wrong at all.

  3. Justice Fairman

    Why ban sporting arms? (I realize people like the term “Assault Weapon” but there really isn’t any reason for defining a rifle as such as they can both be used for assault and defense but are usually used for target and hunting).
    Current FBI stats show only 300 or so homicides per year nation wide using ANY rifle with sporting arms being a significantly smaller category of such firearms sold. Why in particular do you want to ban the least likely offender? I think you’ve fallen for the scare tactics employed by politicians.
    I have a hard time believing any of the statistics in this article. The FBI Homicide data shows 12,664 murders nationwide for the entire US in 2011. Rifles accounted for 323 and blunt objects such as bats and hammers was 496. Although I don’t see anyone calling for a ban of those items.

    Please look up the information for yourself. It will be enlightening.

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