AB 818 will help keep guns out of the hands of those who shouldn’t have them
SACRAMENTO — Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris (D-Irvine) today announced that her Assembly Bill 818 to strengthen domestic violence and gun violence restraining orders passed the Assembly Judiciary Committee on a unanimous, bi-partisan vote.
Gun violence is a public health crisis in this country, and in particular, the nexus of guns and domestic violence puts victims at tremendous risk. Women in the United States are 21 times more likely to be killed with a gun than women in other high-income countries and the risk of homicide increases by at least 500% when a firearm is present in the home during an incident of domestic violence.
California one of the leading states in monitoring gun violence and working to ensure guns aren’t in the wrong hands. California law requires that a person who is subject to a domestic violence or gun violence restraining order be prohibited from having firearms and ammunition, which is entered into a statewide database – the Armed and Prohibited Person System (APPS). When serving the domestic violence or gun violence restraining order, a law enforcement officer is required to inform the now restrained party they are prohibited from having firearms and ammunition and remove firearms from their possession.
Unfortunately, advocates for victims of domestic violence often report that when a protected party (victim of domestic violence) requests that law enforcement serve their restraining order, some agencies refer victims to another law enforcement agency elsewhere. Victims are then forced to locate and drive to a subsequent local law enforcement agency and attempt to get them to serve the protective order and remove the firearms from the perpetrator.
This is concerning because most victims are already living in fear for their lives, and because this undermines the goal of the firearms prohibitions and the APPS system: to identify those who currently own firearms, ensure the time between prohibition and relinquishment is reduced, and rapidly get guns out of the hands of those who should not have them.
AB 818 strengthens the goal of these policies and APPS by requiring that law enforcement agencies remove firearms from a prohibited person when requested by a victim and enter that information in the statewide database. This bill will help protect victims of domestic violence and those at risk of harming themselves or others – and make our communities safer.
What people are saying
Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris (D-Irvine), Author of AB 818 said, “The frequency of gun deaths in this country shocks those around the world, but in America it’s just another Tuesday. In California we continue to search for creative solutions to keep guns out of the hands of those who should not have them. I’m very honored to be partnering with such a great coalition of advocates who are doing the hard work every day to make our communities safer.
Julia Weber, Consultant for the gun violence prevention organization Giffords said, “This bill helps address a critical gap in current law designed to prevent gun violence in California; we must do all we can to implement the life-saving firearms and ammunition provisions we have in place and provide protection to reduce risk for victims of domestic violence who have courageously sought protection through our courts and for our communities statewide. This bill will help move us forward. Giffords thanks Assemblywoman Petrie-Norris for her leadership on this issue.”
Beth Hassett, CEO of WEAVE, an organization which supports survivors of domestic violence said, “AB 818 is an important step in improving the implementation of California’s existing policies around firearm relinquishment. This bill will make it safer for victims to leave an abusive relationship and easier to get help from their local law enforcement agency.”
There are currently 3.2 million gun owning individuals in California. Of this population, approximately 24,000 are prohibited from operating or purchasing firearms. As of 2022, California has recorded around 24,500 on the APPS list in which there is still a backlog of more individuals to be added.
This bill now moves to the Assembly Committee on Public Safety.
Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris represents California’s 73rd District including Costa Mesa, Irvine and Tustin. She is the Chair of the Accountability and Administrative Review Committee. After working her way through Yale University, where she double majored in Economics and English, Cottie had a successful 20-year career in finance and technology. She helped to build businesses and led teams at Fortune 500 corporations, small companies and start-ups. Follow the Assemblywoman on Twitter https://twitter.com/AsmCottie or on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/AssemblywomanCPN.