June 27, 2022 – Sacramento, CA – Senate Bills 906 and 1327 – two gun safety and reform measures – passed the Assembly Appropriations Committee last week. SB 906, authored by Senator Anthony J. Portantino (D – La Cañada Flintridge), prioritizes student and campus safety by promoting safe at-home storage of firearms and robust investigations of imminent violent school threats. SB 1327 is jointly authored by Senate Majority Leader Emeritus Bob Hertzberg (D-Van Nuys). It creates a new tool for California to combat the rise in gun violence and save lives – a private right of action. Governor Gavin Newsom is the official sponsor of the legislation.
Since 1970, the United States has had over 1,316 school shootings with 164 occurring in California. As experienced in Michigan and Uvalde, these shootings are fatal. Senator Portantino is following up on his safe storage of firearms legislation with a comprehensive school safety plan, which includes a strong and prudent mandate to follow through on threats.
“We must be proactive and adopt common sense measures to prevent future violence at our schools,” stated Senator Anthony Portantino. “SB 906 can help prepare educators and parents to identify red flags and heed warning signs. There can sometimes be hesitancy in acting on these warning signs and a comprehensive safety plan for campuses is necessary to help save lives.”
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 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.
SB 1327, a major gun reform bill, allows private citizens to sue manufactures, distributers, transporters, importers or sellers of assault weapons, .50 BMG rifles, ghost guns, or ghost gun kits in California. It allows citizens to sue for $10,000 on each weapon involved, as well as attorney fees.
“The continued need to adopt sensible solutions to our nation’s tragic history of gun violence is dire and necessary. We must continue to take swift and meaningful steps to stop the gun violence epidemic in our country and to improve public safety for all Californians,” said Senator Portantino, the bill’s joint author. “That includes SB 1327 – which I am proud to jointly author with Senator Hertzberg to empower individuals to bring civil lawsuits against those who manufacture, distribute or transport ghost guns into California. Let’s be clear the NRA will continue to oppose us and we need to be diligent with our efforts to make this law and keep our communities safe.”
SB 906 and 1327 continue Senator Portantino’s legacy as one of California’s most ardent gun reform advocates. During his time in the Assembly, the Senator successfully banned the open carry of handguns and rifles in California and as Senator, he raised the general gun purchase age in California to twenty-one. 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.
Source: Senator Anthony J. Portantino