FRIEDMAN INTRODUCES BILL TO REQUIRE SAFE STORAGE OF FIREARMS
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 28, 2019
Contact: Allison Ruff
SACRAMENTO, CA—On Friday, Assemblymember Laura Friedman (D-Glendale) introduced landmark gun safety legislation, Assembly Bill 276, that would require all firearms to be kept safe and secured by Department of Justice-approved locking systems. The bill is sponsored by the Gifford’s Law Center and the Brady Campaign to End Gun Violence.
“Safe gun storage saves lives,” said Assemblymember Friedman. “California has led the nation on firearms safety policy, but with the highest number of shootings nationwide, there is still work to be done.”
State law requires the Department of Justice to keep a roster of approved firearm safety devices that meet official safety standards and have been fully tested by certified laboratories. Currently, there are no federal laws requiring firearms to be secured in devices that meet these, or any, standards that would help prevent unauthorized access. If AB 276 becomes law, California would join Massachusetts as the only states in the nation that require all firearms to be stored with approved locking devices in place when not in use.
"When news of another shooting breaks, we have a responsibility to ask not just why such a crime occurred, but how the person in question obtained their weapon. Far too often, it's because a gun was stolen from someone's home after it was left unsecured,” said Amanda Wilcox, Legislation and Policy Chair for the California Chapters of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. “The efforts of Assemblymember Friedman and her colleagues to further ensure that California's gun safety laws are among the strongest in the nation have saved lives in our state, and we wholeheartedly support this bill. We have a responsibility to do everything in our power to prevent firearms from ending up in dangerous hands, and ensuring that guns are safely stored at home is a strong step towards that goal."
“As a father and a legislator, nothing is more important to me than protecting our children,” said Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel (D-San Fernando Valley), a principle co-author of the measure. “Requiring gun owners to safely store dangerous weapons is a simple solution to a deadly problem. I am proud to co-author AB 276 and am committed to working closely with my colleagues to ensure that we protect our schools and our communities from gun violence.”
Numerous reports have indicated that firearm safety devices save lives. The United States General Accounting Office has estimated that 31% of accidental fatalities caused by firearms could be prevented by various firearm safety devices. Data from the Centers for Disease Control reveals that firearms are used in approximately 39% of youth suicides nationally, compared to a rate of 9% of youth suicides in Massachusetts, where the legislation is already in place. A report published by the United States Secret Service and the Department of Education found that in 65% of school shootings covered by the study, the shooter used a gun obtained from his or her own home or from the home of a relative.
“Unsafe and illegal firearm use continues to plague every region of California,” continued Friedman. “AB 276 will help ensure that lawful firearms don’t end up in the wrong hands and place our communities at risk.”
Under current law, firearm safety devices that are not on the official Department of Justice roster are required to conspicuously display a specified warning on the front of the device and all related materials. AB 276 would require a firearm owner, who is the legal occupant of a residence, to securely store any firearms with Department of Justice-approved safety devices while they are outside of that residence.
Laura Friedman is the Chair of the Assembly Natural Resources Committee and represents the 43rd Assembly District which encompasses the cities of Burbank, Glendale, and La Cañada Flintridge, as well as the communities of La Crescenta and Montrose, and the Los Angeles neighborhoods of Atwater Village, Beachwood Canyon, Los Feliz, East Hollywood, Franklin Hills, and Silver Lake.