Skip to main content

Ting/Gomez Legislation to Strengthen California's Firearm Child Access Prevention Laws Passes Assembly

For immediate release:

Goal of AB 231 is to limit a child’s access to guns

Sacramento – Legislation authored by Assemblymember Philip Y. Ting (D-San Francisco) and Assemblymember Jimmy Gomez (D – Los Angeles) to strengthen penalties for the preventable tragedy of gun injuries involving children passed the California Assembly yesterday. AB 231 would make the act of leaving or storing a loaded firearm in a location where a child is likely to gain access a misdemeanor.

“By imposing a misdemeanor on those who allow children to gain access to their guns, we will help keep guns out of the hands of minors,” Ting told his Assembly colleagues. “AB 231 strengthens California’s CAP laws and follows the lead of six other states — Texas, New Jersey, Minnesota, Massachusetts, Maryland and Hawaii — that have variations of criminal liability for persons who leave a gun in a place where they know, or reasonably should know, that a child can access it.”

Child access prevention Laws (CAP) are legislative interventions intended to prevent gun accidents by limiting a child’s access to firearms. CAP laws establish criminal penalties for owners who do not store their firearms appropriately and as a result, a gun accident occurs because a child acquired a gun and caused damage, injury or death. Criminal penalties also exist if a child brings a gun to a public place, such as a school.

“This bill will serve to educate gun owners and specifically address the care one must take around children,” Assemblymember Gomez said. “AB 231 will help ensure child safety and responsible gun ownership by strengthening California’s existing child access protection laws to address certain irresponsible acts as a misdemeanor.”

Assemblymember Mark Levine, (D – San Rafael) also spoke on behalf of AB 231.

“California is currently 15 years behind Texas in adapting legislation that establishes criminal negligence for the storing of a firearm where it is readily accessible to children,” he said. “That Texas legislation was signed by then-Governor George W. Bush. I hope this legislation enjoys the same bipartisan support.”

AB 231 now moves to the California Senate for consideration.

Contact: Carol Chamberlain, 916-319-2019