Published : Friday, October 18, 2019 | 5:17 AM
California Governor Gavin Newsom has signed another gun safety measure authored by State Senator Anthony Portantino, who represents Pasadena.
The measure, Senate Bill 172, enacts a slate of provisions related to firearms storage by broadening criminal storage crimes, adding criminal storage offenses to those offenses that can trigger a 10-year firearm ban, and creating an exemption to firearm loan requirements for the purposes of preventing suicide.
In addition, SB 172 works towards resolving the problem of unsafe gun storage in residential care facilities. It also builds on the legacy of Portantino’s predecessor in the senate, Jack Scott, who championed safe gun storage issues while in the legislature.
Portantino said the bill would make it more difficult for children to have access to firearms, which has been blamed for the vast majority of accidental firearm death, suicide and senseless acts of violence among children.
“Children are far too often put in jeopardy when they are in homes that practice unsafe gun storage and our growing senior population is generating gun safety issues as it transitions into group care,” Portantino said about the bill. “These situations have created an urgent situation where all aspects of residential storage need stronger and contemporary regulations. Both younger and older residents need to be protected from inadvertent gun violence and I am very pleased that this needed and common-sense effort is now law.”
The measure also responds to the problem of unsafe storage that often puts guns in the wrong hands and leads to potentially deadly situations.
Just recently, a shooting incident in a senior care facility in Sacramento highlighted the need for sensible rules regarding seniors and the facilities they enter after leaving their homes for retirement and care.
A statement from Portantino’s office said assisted living facilities are allowed by the state to accept and retain firearms, along with accepting many residents having mild to severe cognitive impairment due to Alzheimer’s or other related dementias.
“Characteristics of the cognitively impaired include paranoia, confusion, and anger. Having unsecured firearms near dementia residents is a dangerous risk. With 70 percent of assisted living residents having some level of dementia, firearms pose significant risk for everyone in the assisted living setting, so this bill proactively prevents a tragedy,” the statement said.
For the current session, Gov. Newsom had already signed two other gun safety measures authored by Portantino: SB 61, which caps the sale of semi-automatic, semi-fire rifles to one a month and ban the sale of them to those under 21; and SB 376 which redefined the definition of infrequent in dealing with gun sales.
In his career, Portantino has also banned the open carry of firearms in California and raised the purchasing age on long guns to 21 years old.
SB 172 bill is supported by the Bay Area Student Activists, Consumer Advocates for RCFE Reform, the County of Los Angeles, Drain the NRA, and Elder Law and Advocacy.
Sen. Portantino represents nearly 930,000 people in the 25th Senate District, which includes Pasadena, Altadena, Atwater Village, Bradbury, Burbank, Claremont, Duarte, Glendale, Glendora, La Cañada Flintridge, La Crescenta, Lake View Terrace, La Verne, Los Feliz, Monrovia, Montrose, San Dimas, San Marino, Shadow Hills, Sierra Madre, South Pasadena, Sunland-Tujunga and Upland.