Gun Safety Laws Work

Dear Constituent,

This year is on pace to set another record for mass shootings. Nearly every day, it seems, there is news of yet another mass killing at a school, workplace, shopping center, or place of worship.

The U.S. has the highest rate of firearm deaths among all wealthy nations. At the core of this epidemic is the mass proliferation of firearms, along with few to no national restrictions on guns or gun ownership. In fact, gun ownership in the U.S. accounts for nearly half — 46% — of global civilian gun ownership.

The good news is that a majority of Americans want change. According to a nationwide survey last year, more than 70% of Americans said they support stricter gun laws.

California provides proof that gun safety laws work. California has some of the toughest gun safety laws in the nation, and one of the lowest firearm mortality rates. The Giffords Law Center ranks California No. 1 for gun safety.

Gun violence prevention and strengthening California’s gun safety laws has been one of my priorities since I was first elected to the Legislature. I am particularly proud of AB 1014, which established the nation’s first Red Flag Order law. California’s red flag law allows family members, employers, coworkers, school employees, and law enforcement to request a Gun Violence Restraining Order (GVRO) for any individual who is threatening to inflict harm on themselves or others. These orders can be issued within a few hours and allow law enforcement to immediately remove guns in the person’s possession and prevent that person from possessing firearms for a specified period of time.

A study by UC Davis last year found that California’s GVRO law may have prevented up to 58 mass shootings since it went into effect in 2016.

Another gun safety law I authored in 2013, AB 48, significantly strengthened California’s ban on large-capacity magazines, the device that allows guns to rapidly fire more than 10 bullets at a time, commonly employed in mass shootings.

This year, I’m authoring new gun safety legislation, SB 377, to stop the practice of law enforcement officers being able to buy illegal guns for their personal use. My SB 377 comes in response to a bulletin from the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) that warned about a growing trend of California law enforcement officers profiting off of that privilege by selling what are otherwise illegal firearms.

The effectiveness of California’s gun safety laws, and the lack of response by Congress to offer similar protections, has prompted Governor Gavin Newsom to propose a constitutional amendment that would enshrine many of California gun safety laws in the U.S. Constitution and give states more autonomy to enact commonsense gun safety laws.

I strongly support the governor’s effort and plan to become a co-author of that legislation, which will call for a constitutional convention to create the proposed gun safety amendment. California has proven that we can effectively address the gun violence epidemic. It’s time for our nation to do the same.



Nancy Skinner
State Senator, District 9