Bonta Responds To State Of The State: Focuses On The Safety Of Our Children And Communities And Highlights Bills To Stop Illegal Gun Sales, Combat Childhood Trauma

Thursday, January 21, 2016

(SACRAMENTO, CA) Assemblymember Rob Bonta (D-Oakland) issued the following statement today after Governor Jerry Brown delivered his State of the State Address.

“Today, Governor Brown shared his vision for California’s future. His reference to the ‘unprovoked and brutal attack in San Bernardino’ and the public’s safety resonated with me.  

We must keep our children and communities safe. Oakland was home to 89 murders last year—among the highest rates in the state. We must end these heart-rending killings of our youth and community members. In response, today I introduced AB 1695 to stop the flood of illegal firearms onto our streets. Our zip codes shouldn’t dictate our destiny, especially in our most vulnerable communities. That’s why I authored AB 1644 to combat one of the greatest public health crises of our time: adverse childhood experiences and trauma.”

AB 1695—the Stop Illegal Gun Sales Act—will reduce the flow of firearms onto the black market. The Act targets straw purchases, instances in which a person who can pass a background check legally buys a gun and then resells it to someone who would not have otherwise been allowed to legally purchase a firearm.

“Straw purchases fuel California’s gun violence epidemic. The Stop Illegal Gun Sales Act will provide targeted interventions to keep those guns off of our streets.”

Under the Act, during the mandatory waiting period following the purchase of a firearm, the Department of Justice would notify buyers, prior to receiving the gun, of California gun laws and warn that purchasing a gun on behalf of another is a crime. Additionally, the Act would make knowingly falsely reporting a gun as lost or stolen a misdemeanor, a common claim among straw purchasers when their gun is recovered at the scene of a crime.

Bonta also highlighted AB 1644, part of his multi-year effort to help children exposed to abuse, neglect, and other traumatic experiences, including gun violence. “As Chair of the Assembly Health Committee and the Select Committee on the Status of Boys and Men of Color in California, I have authored legislation and highlighted innovative programs to combat the impact of trauma on our state’s most challenged communities.”

“I’m proud to author AB 1644 with the support of Attorney General Kamala Harris and a stellar group of advocates to provide children suffering from trauma with the healing services they need to survive and thrive."

Assemblymember Bonta represents the 18th Assembly District, which includes the cities of Oakland, Alameda, and San Leandro. Bonta Chairs the Assembly Health Committee, the Select Committee on the Status of Boys and Men of Color, and in the second Extraordinary Session, the Public Health and Developmental Services Committee. He is also a member of the following committees: Appropriations, Budget, Budget Subcommittee No. 1 on Health and Human Services, Joint Legislative Budget, Joint Legislative Committee on Emergency Management, Natural Resources, and Public Employees, Retirement, and Social Security.