Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel (D-San Fernando Valley) today welcomed former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords to the State Capitol. In a roundtable meeting with the Congresswoman, Assemblymember Gabriel and his colleagues discussed their efforts to craft a package of new laws to prevent mass shootings and reduce gun violence.
Giffords, once the victim of an assassination attempt, is now among the loudest voices in the fight to end gun violence. She says the work will require determination from both sides of the political aisle. "Now is the time to come together. Be responsible. Democrats, Republicans, everyone. We must never stop fighting," Giffords said at a press conference following the roundtable. "Fight! Fight! Fight! Be bold. Be courageous. The nation's counting on you," Giffords told lawmakers.
Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel represents Thousand Oaks, the site of the recent tragedy at the Borderline Bar and Grill. He says California can lead the way in preventing such mass shootings. "We are committed as a group to thinking about how we can bring an aggressive legislative package forward," said Gabriel. "This is a top priority for us. There is a tremendous amount of energy in this in the legislature," Gabriel added.
Assemblymember Gabriel also discussed his first two bills—Assembly Bills 165 and 166—which are sponsored by the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.
AB 165 would require the Commission on Peace Officers Standards and Training to develop and implement training for law enforcement officers on the use of Gun Violence Restraining Orders (GVROs). A GVRO is a judicial order that allows police officers to temporarily confiscate guns from, and prevent the purchase of new guns by, individuals who pose a significant risk of harm to themselves or others. However, GVROs have been underutilized since they were first introduced in 2016, and this training program would ensure that law enforcement officials throughout California are aware of when and how to use this powerful new tool. In addition to the Giffords Law Center, AB 165 is also supported by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence and the California Statewide Law Enforcement Association.
AB 166 would authorize Medi-Cal reimbursement for violence prevention services offered through hospital-based Violence Intervention Programs. These innovative programs have proven effective in reducing the cycle of gun violence in many communities, and expanding access to these services would help save lives and reduce the expenditure of state funds through the healthcare and justice systems.
Both AB 165 and AB 166 are expected to be heard in Assembly policy committees in the coming weeks. Assemblymember Gabriel is also working with his colleagues on a variety of additional gun violence measures which will be introduced in the coming weeks.
Assembly member Mike Gipson of the Los Angeles area says his family spent the Christmas holidays mourning the loss of his nephew to a shooting. He wants to fight for other parents who have to bury their kids due to gun violence. "Because they're in the wrong place at the wrong time. Or because of the color of shirt that they're wearing or shoes that they're wearing. These are very real issues," said Gipson
Among the bills under consideration is his to ban so-called "ghost guns," those which can be produced with a 3-D printer and fool metal detectors.