Expanding CA's Red Flag Gun Law
As a father, I became increasingly concerned with the rising number of school shootings before COVID-19 struck. Tomorrow marks a milestone in my years-long push for stronger gun safety laws. After three attempts, California is finally expanding its red flag law under my bill, AB 61, which will make our classrooms and workplaces safer from gun violence.
Taking effect September 1, this new law allows campus officials, employers and co-workers to access a court process to obtain what's called a Gun Violence Restraining Order (GVRO). With a judge's approval, it's used to temporarily take away someone's firearms, if they pose a threat to themselves or others.
Previously, only law enforcement and immediate family could use this effective tool to help prevent tragedies. So far, more than 1,700 GVROs have been issued statewide over the last four years - no doubt, saving some lives.
It makes sense to include our schools and jobs sites in broadening our red flag gun law because these are the places we spend the most time when we're not at home. We need to empower the people we see almost daily, and who are most likely to notice early warning signs, with a way to intervene.
When we resume our pre-pandemic lives, attending classes and working in offices, AB 61 will be available to those who need it, and I hope increasing accessibility to GVROs will reverse the upward trend of school and workplace shootings.
For more information on how GVROs work or how to obtain one, please visit: https://speakforsafety.org/.
Assemblymember, 19th District