SACRAMENTO – California Attorney General Rob Bonta today was joined by local leaders in Sacramento for a roundtable discussion to address gun violence. The roundtable is the first in a series of meetings led by Attorney General Bonta across the state to bring together leaders of non-profits, churches, and community groups to discuss best practices in preventing gun violence. The primary objective of the roundtables is to formulate effective approaches for addressing gun violence in communities, fostering knowledge about accessible resources for the public, and enhancing partnerships statewide to avert gun violence occurrences more effectively. Attorney General Bonta stressed the importance of preventing gun violence at the roundtable, which falls a year after the shooting in Half Moon Bay killing seven victims and injuring one on January 23, 2023; and just after another shooting in Monterey Park, California, where 10 people were gunned down and nine injured on January 21, 2023.
“California continues to collectively mourn those lost to gun violence, including those we lost due to the horrific shootings in Half Moon Bay and Monterey Park. We continue to heal together, and we look for ongoing solutions to prevent America’s disease and its effect on our communities. Preventing gun violence must begin in our communities by strengthening relationships and fostering an environment of support and collaboration,” said Attorney General Rob Bonta. “I’m proud to stand with our local partners to identify best practices, foster community involvement, and work toward community-driven solutions to eliminate gun violence. As California Attorney General, I am doubling down on California’s gun safety efforts by defending our commonsense gun safety laws in court, cracking down on enforcing those laws, and working in collaboration with local community violence intervention and prevention experts to disrupt cycles of gun violence.”
“For too long gun violence has caused tremendous trauma for so many families,” said Kim Williams, Hub Manager at Sacramento Building Healthy Communities. “Preventing gun violence requires a collective effort so we must come together as community organizations, system leaders and residents, allocate more resources, and work tirelessly towards a common goal. By joining forces, we can build safer communities where our loved ones can thrive without the fear of gun violence.”
“Mutual Assistance Network is an essential part of an intentional continuum of violence prevention that seeks community led and racial equity centered solutions to gun violence,” said Danielle Lawrence, Executive Director of Mutual Assistance Network. “As we collectively and collaboratively strive for a safer future, we call on all individuals, organizations, institutions, and policymakers to join hands in addressing the multifaceted challenges and impacts of gun violence to our communities in Sacramento County.”
“We’ve all seen and experienced the impact of gun violence across our state,” said Senior Pastor Les Simmons of South Sacramento Christian Center. “Can you imagine a world without Violence? It is my hope that the Office of Gun Violence Prevention has that very imagination and action towards a collaborative solution, creating space for a deeper understanding between community lead organizations and other public safety entities for a shared vision of ending gun violence.”
In September of 2022, California Attorney General Rob Bonta announced the launch of the California Department of Justice’s (DOJ) first-in-the-nation Office of Gun Violence Prevention (OGVP), dedicated to developing strategies and working with stakeholders statewide to address the gun violence epidemic. This innovative new office — the first Office of Gun Violence Prevention under the leadership of a state attorney general — provides centralized support from DOJ for partners to implement strategic and innovative programs to reduce gun violence. The Office of Gun Violence Prevention’s (OGVP) mission is to reduce and prevent gun violence, firearm injury, and related trauma. OGVP supports DOJ’s ongoing gun violence reduction efforts led by the Bureau of Firearms and DOJ's litigation sections — including the DOJ’s seizure of firearms from dangerous individuals using the Armed and Prohibited Persons System (APPS), prosecution of firearms trafficking cases, and defense of California’s commonsense gun laws. OGVP examines a broad range of factors — from firearm availability to effective resources for crisis prevention — to reduce the harm caused by firearms and make Californians healthier and safer. OGVP aims to reduce gun violence by promoting research and data collection, increasing awareness about effective legal and policy strategies, and collaborating with federal, state, and local partners.
In 2023, the office released its first data report to provide a robust review of gun violence data in California and throughout the U.S. to help guide policy and strategy discussions related to reducing gun violence. The report highlighted California’s successes in preventing gun violence, and it shined a light on successful strategies and further areas for improvements. For example, over the last 30 years, California has reduced its gun violence rate compared to the rest of the United States; once 50% above average, California’s firearm homicide rate is now 33% below the rest of the United States. Additionally, if the firearm mortality rate in the rest of the United States had matched California’s between 2013-2022, there would have been nearly 140,000 fewer firearm-related deaths nationwide in that decade alone.
Also In 2023, the office released the second data report that provided an in-depth look at the ties between domestic violence and firearms. The report examined data illustrating the impact of firearms-related domestic violence, including both family and intimate partner-related violence with firearms. The report documented California’s long-term progress in reducing domestic violence involving firearms, and highlighted California’s efforts to empower and protect survivors by providing a range of support services, offering crisis intervention and safety planning options, providing for Domestic Violence Restraining Orders (DVROs), and enforcing laws to protect against gun violence.
Attorney General Bonta stands with partners throughout the state to continue tackling the issue of gun violence strategically and aggressively by:
- Defending California’s commonsense gun laws, including its assault weapons ban and restrictions on large-capacity magazines.
- Educating the public on gun violence prevention through the Office of Gun Violence Prevention, including through data reports issued by the office to provide a robust review of gun violence and gun-related domestic violence data in California and throughout the U.S. and to help guide policy and strategy discussions related to reducing gun violence.
- Advocating for gun laws including by sponsoring Assembly Bill 1594 to increase accountability for the firearm industry and supporting The Gun Violence Prevention and School Safety Act (AB 28) to make long-term investments in community-based gun violence prevention programs, school mental health, gun crime investigations, and victim services.
- Working to strengthen federal laws to protect the public from ghost guns, and successfully defending California’s laws to prevent gun violence.
- Seizing guns from prohibited persons in the Armed and Prohibited Persons System, and through multiagency sweeps in the Bay Area and Los Angeles County, conducting operations targeting individuals attempting to illegally purchase guns, and collaborating with local law enforcement partners.
- Ending the sale of illegal firearms through litigation against ghost gun retailers, and by putting a stop to the sale of illegal assault weapons in Orange County.
- Calling for an investigation into an ammunition plant that sells military grade ammunition to the public that is subsidized by the American taxpayers.