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Senator Portantino Introduces Comprehensive Campus Safety Plan to Protect California Students from Gun Violence

Published on Wednesday, February 2, 2022 | 10:03 am

State Sen. Anthony J. Portantino (D –Pasadena) introduced SB 906, a bill that prioritizes student safety by increasing available information on gun access and safe at-home storage of firearms while ensuring quick and robust investigations of imminent school threats.

Since 1970, the United States has had 1,316 school shootings with 164 occurring in California.

“With common sense proactive measures, we can prepare educators and parents to identify red flags and ultimately prevent tragedies,” Portantino said. “In many cases of a school shootings there were warning signs. Recent events in Michigan show that there sometimes is hesitancy in acting on them, which could lead to tragic results.   It is my hope to take the politics and hesitancy out of the equation and give school districts the mandate they need to investigate and act on discernable threats. Knowing and understanding the signs of potential gun violence can help prevent it.  Making information available to schools will help them assess threats and educating parents on the importance of safe storage will make homes safer, too.”

SB 906 would:

  • Require the State Department of Education, in consultation with the Department of Justice, to develop model content for public or charter schools on a threat or perceived threat of a mass shooting incident;

  • Upon registering a student for a public or charter school, parents or guardians will be required to disclose whether any firearms are located at the home of the student and details on ownership, storage, and accessibility of those firearms as it relates to the student.

  • Upon becoming aware of a credible violent threat, schools must immediately report that threat to the law enforcement authorities, and school leaders, in consultation with law enforcement, must search a student’s on campus property for the presence of firearms.

  • Schools are required to include information related to the safe storage of firearms in the annual notification provided to the parents or guardians.

“When in approximately 68% of school shootings the firearm was taken from the student’s home, friend, or relative, California needs to move the needle and take prudent public safety steps to address this problem. When we know that in 93% of those incidents the attack was planned in advance and in many instances threatening or concerning communications prior to the attack elicit concern from parents, friends, and educators, we must move from threat assessment to protective action without hesitation,” concluded Portantino.

 In 2019, Governor Newsom also signed Senator Portantino’s SB 172.  The bill enacted a slate of significant 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.

The same year SB 376 was signed into law, which reduces the number of firearms an unlicensed individual is annually able to sell and the frequency with which they are able to sell.

In 2021, Senate Bill 715 was signed into law, which enacts important gun purchase safeguards.  SB 906 continues the Senator’s legacy as one of California’s most ardent gun reform advocates.

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