by REUTERS/Marco Bello

California vowed to expedite over a dozen commonsense gun safety laws aimed to protect people following a mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas. 

Gov. Gavin Newsom, Senate President Pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins, D-San Diego, and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, D-Lakewood made the announcement on Tuesday after the 18-year-old attacker Salvador Ramos entered Robb Elementary School unobstructed and killed at least 19 children and two adults.  

The massacre was marked the deadliest US School Shooting in nearly a decade at least the 30th school shooting at a K-12 school in 2022, as reported by CNN. The FBI reported that the number of active shooter incidents identified in 2021 represented a 52.5 percent increase from 2020 and a 96.8 percent increase from 2017. 

“California will not stand by as kids across the country are gunned down,” Governor Newsom said. “Guns are now the leading cause of death for kids in America. While the U.S. Senate stands idly by and activist federal judges strike down commonsense gun laws across our nation, California will act with the urgency this crisis demands. The Second Amendment is not a suicide pact. We will not let one more day go by without taking action to save lives.”

By the end of June, Newsom said he will be signing bills to “advance efforts in a series of critical areas on ghost guns, on issues related to the proliferation of assault weapons, ghost guns as well as others where we need to increase enforcement”.   

Some of those bills include AB 2571 to restrict advertising on firearms to minors, AB 1621 to SB ghost and parts of kits used to build them, and SB 1327 to create a private right of action to limit the spread of illegal assault weapons and ghost guns and AB 1594 which allows governments and victims of gun violence to sue manufacturers and sellers of firearms. 

“There have been more mass shootings in the U.S. in 2022 than days in the year,” said California Attorney General Rob Bonta. “In California, we refuse to accept the current norm. We will continue to call on our federal leaders and neighboring states to do more because our nation’s current standard for preventing gun violence is unacceptable. Our children should not suffer this burden.”

Bonta said he “will use the full force of the law and my office to end gun violence.” 

“Active shooter drills, metal detectors, and schools that look like prisons are not the answer — we need commonsense gun safety laws. We are sick and tired of seeing young and promising lives cut short due to gun violence. We at the California Department of Justice and leaders throughout California know that addressing gun violence is critical to public safety.”

These actions also come less than two weeks after a racially motivated massacre at Tops Friendly Supermarket in Buffalo, N.Y. Authorities reported the 18-year-old white man wearing military gear shot and killed 10 people and injured three more before surrendering to authorities. 

Just last week, 68-year-old David Wenwei Chou of Las Vegas opened fire at a ​​Taiwanese church congregation of mainly elderly people in Orange County. The assault killed one and wounded five randing in age from 66 to 92 years old inside the Geneva Presbyterian Church in Laguna Woods. 

San Diego County Board of Supervisors Vice Chair Nora Vargas announced the following support and services available to South Bay families and children during these difficult times: 

  • The County of San Diego’s Deputy Director for Behavioral Health Services (BHS), Dr. Piedad Garcia’s guidance on Responding to Children about Violent Incidents
  • If you or someone you love needs to talk, support is available by calling San Diego County’s 24-hour, multi-lingual Access and Crisis Line at (888) 724-7240. I encourage anyone experiencing a state of distress to seek help by calling this number.  

Other Resources: 

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