The United States has witnessed 400 mass shootings in 2023 and is set to see more mass incidents this year than the past four years combined. The country has seen year-after-year increases in the number of deaths and injuries from guns.
On this week’s “In Focus SoCal,” host Tanya McRae takes a look at new gun safety measures that are being proposed in California.
What You Need To Know
- California has some of the strictest gun laws in the nation and boasts some of the lowest rates of gun violence
- According to the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California, twice as many likely California voters think it’s more important to control gun ownership than it is to protect gun rights
- Last month, Gov. Gavin Newsom proposed amending the U.S. Constitution to harden federal gun laws to address the country’s gun violence epidemic
- Women Against Gun Violence is helping to educate the public and policy makers on gun safety
While California has some of the strictest gun laws in the nation and boasts some of the lowest rates of gun violence, it has still been touched by the tragedy of shootings and violence from firearms.
According to the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California, twice as many likely California voters think it’s more important to control gun ownership than it is to protect gun rights. State Sen. Anthony Portantino, who represents the 25th District, has two gun safety bills that are making their way through the legislature. SB 2 is sponsored by Gov. Gavin Newsom and Attorney General Rob Bonta.
“What SB does is it takes the Bruen Supreme Court decision and says California is going to set in place a series of concrete reasons why someone should or shouldn’t have a gun,” said Portantino. “For example, if you have a history of domestic violence, should we be giving you a gun? If you’re on Facebook threatening people, should we give you a gun?”
Portantino added that SB 2 will include a list of places people, even if permits, cannot bring their guns.
“It’s the number one high-profile gun safety, gun control measure going through the legislature this year.”
Last month, Newsom proposed amending the U.S. Constitution to harden federal gun laws to address the country’s gun violence epidemic. The 28th Amendment would include raising the federal minimum age to purchase a firearm from 18 to 21, mandating a universal background check and barring civilian purchase of assault weapons.
“In Focus” reached out to the National Rifle Association for comment on the proposed 28th Amendment. They responded: “California is a beacon for violence because of Newsom’s embrace of policies that champion the criminal and penalize the law-abiding. That is why the majority of Americans rightfully reject his California-style gun control.”
McRae also meets Suzanne Verge, the LA Chapter President of Brady United, which has been working to bring together people of all ages, races, and political affiliations to enact common-sense solutions to end gun violence. Suzanne’s brother was shot and killed in 1978, which spurred her to get involved in the Million Mom March Movement in 2000.
“I can take this wound and I can talk to others, educate others," said Verge. "I belong to a club that nobody wants to belong to. Our numbers continue to grow, and it's just awful.”
Megan Oddsen from Women Against Gun Violence also joins this week’s conversation to share how her organization is helping to educate the public and policy makers on gun safety. The organization’s Talk Project aims to keep guns safety stored and out of the hands of those who could abuse them.
“We believe that safe gun storage saves lives, particularly those of curious children and adolescents, and of those contemplating suicide," said Oddsen. "Every day, there seems to be new stories of a child dying because they accessed an unsecured firearm."
Send us your thoughts to InFocusSoCal@charter.com and watch at 9 a.m. and noon Sunday.