by Avery Bissett | March 22, 2018 3:11 pm
More stringent gun regulations to curb suicides could soon be enacted in California. Assembly Bill 1927 successfully passed the Assembly Public Safety Committee during a hearing Tuesday morning.
Spurred by recent mass shootings, the legislation, introduced by Assemblyman Rob Bonta, D-Alameda, and co-authored by Assemblyman David Chiu, D-San Francisco, would allow residents to “voluntarily add their name to the California Do Not Sell List for firearms.”
“A lot of the political opposition to efforts California has taken to address gun violence is around government telling people what they can and cannot do,” Bonta told the SacBee. “This is different. This is an individual saying, ‘I want to do this. I’m choosing to do this.’ We think it will save lives.”
Of the roughly 38,000 gun deaths in the U.S. in 2016, about two-thirds were suicides. In California alone, there were nearly 1,600 suicides with guns in 2016.
While a controversial topic, the issue of guns and suicide are inextricably linked. Research suggests that suicide attempts are an impulsive act, and firearms offer a disproportionately lethal means.
The bill is not without its opponents, such as the National Rifle Association, with some expressing concern that the law could be abused.
To join the list, a person would provide the names and contact information for five people. These contacts would be informed if the person attempted to buy a firearm. Additionally, while those on the list may not be able to legally purchase a firearm, they would not be liable for “any criminal or civil penalty for purchasing, receiving or possessing a firearm.” Those who knowingly sell firearms to Californians on the list, however, would be subject to penalties.
The law would require the state to regularly add people on the list to the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System.
People on the list would need to wait a year before removing themselves; however, to remove themselves earlier, they could provide testimony from a medical professional that they are not a risk to themselves or others. The state would “expunge records related to the person’s inclusion in, and removal, from, the Do Not Sell List.”
Source URL: https://calwatchdog.com/2018/03/22/new-firearms-bill-passes-assembly-committee-with-hopes-of-curbing-suicides/
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