California AB 18 Would Use Taxes on Firearms to Fund Victim Assistance by Charles Yeganian

“The goal is fewer gun deaths,” [author Mark] Levine said. “The gun tax will support the kind of interventions that make gun violence less likely in the first place which is exactly what we need to do.”

AB 18 would fund the California Violence Intervention and Prevention Program, which awarded more than $8 million in grants to communities impacted by gun violence in 2018.

CalVIP, which is overseen by the Board of State and Community Corrections, issues grants to cities as well as community-based organizations.

LEAP Forward is tracking AB 18 and will be grading action on this bill as it works its way through the California Assembly.

California SB 55 is the First of It's Kind: a Bill Born of Research by Charles Yeganian

California SB 55, introduced by Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson and being graded by LEAP Forward, has the distinction of being the first piece of legislation to come directly from research done by the University of California Firearm Violence Research Center (UCFC). From Blanca Garcia, Santa Barbara Independent:

Historically, Congress has not allowed the federal Centers for Disease Control to collect data on gun violence, said Jackson, and there has been no data to show cause and effect. Now that the research is being conducted, “It is our responsibility to respond aggressively [to the data] to stop as much violence as we can,” she said.

The bill is based on research conducted in 2017 by UCFC Director Dr. Garen J. Wintemute. It revealed that more than one-third of individuals convicted of alcohol-related crimes were arrested for a violent or firearm-related crime within 14 years of purchasing a handgun. “Prior convictions for alcohol-related crime may be an important predictor of risk of future criminal activity among purchasers of firearms,” wrote Wintemute and his colleagues in their abstract.