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Senator Portantino’s Gun Safety Bill Passes State Senate Floor

Published on Wednesday, May 24, 2023 | 2:33 pm
Senator Anthony Portantino via Facebook

A gun bill authored by Senator Anthony J. Portantino, who represents Pasadena, passed the Senate floor Wednesday.

SB 368 would expand and strengthen firearm ownership prohibition laws and create additional responsibilities for commercial gun stores.

“Data tells us that households with firearms have a higher risk of suicide and accidental firearm injuries,” Senator Portantino said. “There is currently no review process for people coming off the prohibited gun owner list. Additionally, there are many offenses that make a person incapable of safely owning a gun. An easier path to gun storage and thorough risk assessment will make California safer.”

Currently, licensed retailers and law enforcement agencies are not required to accept and store firearms during a mental health crisis during a gunowner’s mental health crisis or when a Gun Violence Restraining Order is in effect, as this bill would mandate.

This bill also would address certain firearm misdemeanors that do not currently fall under the 10-year prohibition of firearms category and provide a process currently not existing for the Department of Justice to evaluate individuals who may or may not need an extension of a 10-year gun prohibition.

Furthermore the bill also addresses the fact that many gun stores try to attract new customers by holding “opportunity drawings,” or raffles, for various firearms accessories.

SB 368 would:
• Require that licensed firearm dealers establish a voluntary buyback program in consultation with the Department of Justice;
• Require a licensed firearms dealer to accept the storage of a firearm transferred by an individual to prevent an attempted suicide; licensed retailers may also store firearms for other lawful reasons outside of mental health crises.
• Prohibits a licensed firearms dealer from offering an opportunity to win an item of inventory in a raffle and would except from this prohibition nonprofit organizations under certain circumstances;
• Adds a number of misdemeanor offenses for which a conviction results in a 10-year prohibition on possession of a firearm;
• Requires the Department of Justice to create an evaluation process to determine whether an extension of a 10-year prohibition is warranted, as well as provide notice and opportunity to be heard to the person, and establish a process for the person to appeal any extension of the prohibition instituted by the department.

“SB 368 is a much needed strategy to help prevent suicide and save lives,” stated Margot Bennett, Executive Director of Women Against Gun Violence. “Suicides make up three in every five gun deaths in the U.S. and suicide by firearm is almost always deadly – 9 out of 10 firearm suicide attempts result in death. We are thankful to Senator Portantino for getting this important public safety measure off the Senate Floor.”

Senator Portantino has also authored legislation related to firearms storage and gun purchase safeguards, as well as legislation that reduces the number of firearms an unlicensed individual is annually able to sell and the frequency with which they are able to sell.

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