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AG Becerra and Governor Newsom Hold Press Conference on Implementation of Proposition 63


thank you so much for being here today
we are so excited to be talking about and preparing to implement this aspect
of our proposition 63 efforts I first just want to thank Governor Newsome who
was a champion on prop 63 not just in his willingness to take California’s
leadership on gun violence prevention to the next level to the cutting edge of
what is possible in preventing gun violence as we know California is
setting the very leading edge of how gun violence prevention and regulation can
work in this country we’ve passed more regulations than any other state and
when other states are looking for ways to prevent gun violence they look to
California so passing prop 63 and the regulations contained within it allow
California to continue setting that standard that others can follow what
we’re talking about today is the aspect of proposition 63 which deals with
background checks on ammunition sales we know that if you are prohibited
purchaser you cannot have a firearm in the state of California and you are also
not allowed to have ammunition however there hasn’t been any mechanism
in place by which we can restrict the purchase of ammunition and ensure that
those that should not have their hands on deadly ammunition have an easy way to
get it they were able to get it through online sales deliver to the very front
door like a pizza with no background check or any kind of regulation
whatsoever in fact interestingly some researchers and looking and trying to
understand California’s loopholes looked at 10 gun dealers in Los Angeles over a
ten-month period and they took all the purchasers of ammunition from those gun
stores over that two month period and cross-checked them with law enforcement
and found that of those gun purchasers in a tent in a two month period ten
thousand rounds of ammunition had been sold to individuals who are prohibited
from having guns or ammunition so we know for sure that this is a necessary
step to keeping these deadly items out of the hands of those who shouldn’t have
them the way that this law works is that if you already have purchase
– firearm you go to the gun dealer or ammunition dealer they run an instant
check on you if you’ve already purchased a gun your name is in the system they
make sure you haven’t become a prohibited purchaser through our apps
database and for $1 you get your background check passed you buy
ammunition if you’ve never bought a gun you can either acquire a Certificate of
Eligibility which lasts a year or you can acquire a one-time basic eligibility
passage to buy ammunition so it’s a very simple system we also want to give a lot
of things to do J and AG Becerra who’s behind me here who has been not only
ensuring that all of these regulations are implemented smoothly but that to the
extent there’s any challenges that they are being properly defended in the
courts so we are grateful today to see this aspect of prop 63 which we worked
on and co-sponsored with Governor Newsome in 2016
finally fully going into effect and showing that California can continue
leading the way in smart regulations that reduce gun violence and as our
namesake Gabby Giffords always talks about having the courage to step out
even when you’re the one out front on the ledge we know that governor Newsom
does that we certainly are happy to stand by his side and I thank you all
for being here today thank you good morning I’m Amanda Wilcox with Brady
California United against gun violence thank you all for being here so Brady
California has long sought to reduce easy access to ammunition by criminals
and other people with dangerous histories however ammunition sales have
been virtually unregulated in California the buyers and sellers of ammunition
aren’t unknown and there has been no ability to prevent individuals who under
existing law are prohibited from purchasing firearms and ammunition
there’s been no way to prevent them from buying ammo dangerous individuals armed
with illegal guns can easily purchase ammunition in California I personally
began working on legislation to regulate ammunition sells in 2007
and finally because governor Newsom pushed the policy with proposition 63 in
2016 ammunition sellers in California are now licensed in the background check
processes will be in place shortly this process as amended by Senator D Lyon
will go into effect in a few weeks Brady California supports these policies
because people prohibited from owning a firearm should not be able to buy
ammunition period moreover a pre prohibit a person attempting to buy
ammunition is a sign that they likely possess an illegal gun the ammo
background check system will enable the indentification and invest
investigations of those with unknown illegal guns including Gus ghost guns I
care about this issue because of my daughter Laura in January 2001 Laura was
home on winter break from college and filling in as of the receptionist’s at
the Nevada County behavioral health clinic when a client came in and opened
fire he shot Laura four times at point-blank range killing her instantly
when his rampage at the clinic and a nearby restaurant ended three people lay
dead three were severely injured a community was left shaken and the world
was diminished by the loss of incredible young woman Laura Bright and Beautiful
age 19 had extraordinary kindness capability and spirit she was an
outstanding student graduating as high school valedictorian and was at the time
of her death a sophomore at Haverford College and then in the midst of her
campaign for the student body president C Laura was already living a life full
service she wanted to make a positive difference in the world
she had unlimited possibilities and the brightest of futures the person who
killed my daughter was later found to have a house full of unregistered guns
assault weapons and thousands of rounds of ammunition he was a troubled man in
crisis had there been any kind of us
investigation I believe that Laura might be alive today
Laura’s death turned my life upside down just as it does for every other parent
whose child is shot whether they live in a rural County like I do or in our urban
impacted communities we need to stop the shooting the regulation of ammunition
sales is long overdue in Brady California is very pleased that our
state will soon have background checks on ammunition purchases in place we are
extremely grateful to the governor for his leadership on this and other gun
violence prevention policies and I would now like to bring you the podium dr.
Nadine Burke Harris our new Surgeon General for the state of California
thank you thank you good morning the research demonstrates that gun violence
has a profound effect on our communities nearly half of Californians violent
deaths involve firearms in 2017 alone the California Department of Public
Health’s violence prevention initiative reported over 1,500 homicides and 1,600
suicides involving firearms over 72 percent of homicides in California
involve guns that’s more than two times of all the other mechanisms combined and
there were more firearm related deaths than opioid overdoses in our state in
2017 health experts now understand that the impact of gun violence is not
limited to just the individual who is injured or killed it impacts the health
of witnesses families and friends the entire community while many of us may be
aware that witnessing or experience increases the risk of mental health
issues such as depression post-traumatic stress disorder anxiety sleep and eating
the orders and suicide attempts it’s
important to know that exposure to violence also increases the risk for
chronic diseases like cardiovascular disease lung disease diabetes as well as
infectious diseases such as HIV exposure to gun violence can cause the body’s
natural stress response the fight-or-flight response to become
overactive leading to a condition known as the toxic stress response which
affects the functioning of the brain immune system hormonal systems and leads
to increased risk of infection and chronic disease the greater the
adversity a person has faced in their lifetime especially during the critical
developmental periods of early childhood the more vulnerable their brains and
bodies are to the harmful effects of violence in fact we now recognize that
childhood adversity is a significant risk factor not only for becoming a
victim of violence but for being a perpetrator as well and California has
taken bold strides to invest in prevention in January of 2020 we will be
implementing routine screening for adverse childhood experiences for all
children and adults on Medicaid so that we can do the early detection and early
intervention that gets to the root of the root cause and the governor has
included 40 million dollars in this year’s budget to pay providers to screen
for trauma and understand how to respond with trauma-informed care at the same
time the steps we take today to reduce gun violence will reduce trauma and
toxic stress in our communities reducing the rate of gun violence in our state is
a public health priority this is an issue that impacts the health and
well-being of all Californians our families our neighbors co-workers
schools and communities the consequences of violence are costly and significantly
influenced health mental health educational and social outcomes
throughout life California Surgeon General I am
committed to marshaling the insights and energy of medical professionals
scientists public health experts public servants and everyday Californians to
solve our most pressing public health challenges now is the time for
prevention so that we can change the odds and transform outcomes for the next
generation of Californians it’s now my pleasure to introduce former States
President Pro Tem Kevin de Lyonne thank you very much dr. Harris yes good
morning it is a privilege to be here with governor Gavin Newsom Robyn Thomas
Amanda Wilcox our Surgeon General dr. Harris and of course our Attorney
General Xavier Becerra to celebrate the implementation of California’s
absolutely historic gun safety initiative in this nation even in our
very own state gun violence has reached epidemic proportions every day an
average of 100 individuals nationwide are killed and hundreds are injured or
wounded by again every year some 1700 teens our own children die by gun
homicide too many parents are being forced to bury their children and too
many children have to grow up without their parents all because Republicans in
Washington DC have failed to muster the courage of their convictions to pass
sensible gun control measures at the national level so we push for the
strictest toughest gun safety measures in the nation and hopes that our states
that other states would follow in our footsteps we act because we have no
other choice we act because our children are dying in
the streets and behind closed doors in 2007 right around the time when I was
elected I remember there was a young girl I should say 2006 trooper ones
whispery who lived in Angelino heights adjacent to Echo Park this was a
beautiful little nine-year-old Thai girl a Thai immigrant girl she was in a
kitchen playing with her mother jumping up and down like a rambunctious little
child and all of a sudden felt to the ground
her mother was washing dishes dishes and didn’t realize that Troopa was just shot
by bullets that hit her temple Troopa passed away just a few weeks right
before Christmas in 2006 every year I spent here in the legislature I worked
hard on this issue with my colleagues in the assembly in the Senate and within
lieutenant governor Gavin Newsom now governor of the great state of
California and in those years together we pass common-sense solutions
restricting access to military military-grade weapons banning the state
of sale of high-capacity measures magazines cracking down on untraceable
ghost guns any product that has the ability to kill and maim a human being
disfigure and paralyze him should not be sold without a regulation that includes
obviously ammunition we already have regulate the sell of firearms and as the
doctor just mentioned a few moments ago the vast majority of murder to take
place in California and throughout the nation are caused by handguns not ar-15s
our collision Acuff’s but they’re done by handguns we even
regulate the sell of cars alcohol tobacco even vapes in cannabis but none
of those items are expressly designed to kill or maim a human being ammunition is
oxygen that fuels the violence we see in our communities every single day and our
law enforcement needs to know who’s buying it our law enforcement needs to
know who’s selling it the background system we put in place with proposition
63 along with the efforts of the legislature will close this massive
loophole once and for all without the burden on those who buy ammunition
because the system we put in place with the governor will run background checks
instantaneously at the point of sale it is really amazing that such common-sense
this is a such a common-sense logical step to screen people who want to buy
ammunition and can seem like such a large political left but California
never backs away from a challenge we always move forward I want to give a
very special thank you in a record a recognition to our governor who had the
leadership and the courage of his convictions to lay it on the line when
he moved forward 63 I want to thank also to recognize
Attorney General Xavier Becerra we’ve worked on these issues since Arnold
Schwarzenegger to Jerry Brown but this chapter is finally closed with the
leadership of Gavin Newsom who’s finally making this move for it and I want to
thank you very much you know governor now one else will give a special
recognition to Attorney General then Attorney General Kamala Harris because
we worked very closely with both of them as well we will keep moving forward and
I think the leadership of our governor and Attorney General with that it is
with great pleasure that I bring up my congressman for the past 20 25 years
former leader of the congressional Democratic delegation and our Attorney
General Xavier Becerra senator thank you for that reminder although I’m very
happy to be where I am right now I I think it is crucial to be standing
here with all these leaders who have made gun violence prevention a priority
when things get done it doesn’t just happen it happens because people propel
them forward and certainly Gavin Newsom before he became governor understand you
understood the importance of propelling this issue forward and now as governor
Newsom he is continuing to show leadership but along with the governor
is all the folks that are that already spoken that had made it possible because
for years we’ve tried remember that in Congress they’re still trying to enact a
measure that would let us check people who were trying to purchase weapons
California passed that law in 1993 and so you begin to realize how important it
is to stand here with the folks that are behind me these things don’t just happen
it takes real leadership and I thank each and every one of them for what
they’ve done you don’t need to look too far to see how violence from guns
affects all of us as Senator DeLeon mentioned and if today is an average day
as of the beginning of this press conference at 9:30 some 38 Americans
will have already have died as a result of gun violence and more than that will
have already been injured by guns just by 9:30 a.m. on June 25th 1920 19 gun
violence devastates not just our communities it devastates our homes it
devastates our schools it devastates our workplace there is no question that we
needed to take action there is no question that we had to propel prop 63
we’ve seen what requiring background checks for guns does it works if we had
been doing this millions of purchases would have been accomplished that should
not have been in the time that we have been checking for weapons through this
universal background check in California we have had some 230 million checks more
than a million checks have resulted in the denial of the purchase or transfer
of a weapon that’s good news and bad news good news at less than 1% of those
checks have resulted in denial bad news in that the ones that have resulted in
denial constitute more than a million people trying to purchase a weapon when
they shouldn’t have their hands on it there are still ways for convicted
felons those who are dangerously mentally ill and who commit domestic
violence against our loved ones can work around the system they can still buy
guns illegally they can still try to assemble a manufacture their own weapons
known as ghost guns with unregulated precursor parts or they can illegally
use guns which they purchased before becoming prohibited individuals until
now those people could buy bullets and put those guns to use no questions asked
prop 63 will help close this loophole and prevent ammunition from getting into
the wrong hands and being put into the wrong guns prop 63 also gives course and
probation officers the opportunity to disarm persons who are prohibited due to
their convictions at the time of their conviction not once we have to go chase
them throughout the state of California and find them with these new laws for
acquiring ammunition going into effect on July 1st all purchases and transfers
of ammunition will be subject to a background check and authorization from
the California Department of Justice that will allow our team to prevent the
sale of ammunition to those who have no business having it the reality is if
we’re only monitoring gun sales we’re only looking at part of the problem and
part of the equation we’re missing crucial opportunities to prevent gun
violence in all of our communities unless we take action and so July 1st is
upon us with these new laws we’ll be able to take a look at the full page
and with the help of prop 63 and the champions that help make prop 63
possible we’ll keep our community safer the
California Department of Justice is ready to do its part in regulating and
enforcing prop 63 gives us those tools we intend to move forward this is
California we are the leader we don’t look back
we don’t backslide July 1st we’ll be ready to go with that let me introduce
the person who propelled prop 63 and now our governor who continues to work on
this issue governor Gavin Newsom everything that could be said or should
have been said has been said but I guess not by everybody so I am your last
speaker but I want to compliment everything well everybody that stood up
everything that was said for their framing for their advocacy for their
leadership that goes back years and years I can brag on Robyn Thomas and the
work that they’re doing at the Law Center they have been
extraordinary leaders in this space they have provided enormous support for
legislative leaders like former Pro Tem Kevin de Leon who was one of our
national leaders in this space that had been at this issue of ammunition for
years and years who demonstrably delivered on gun safety and position
California as a national leader I think in the spirit of the Attorney General
you can quote Pericles forget he was a former mayor of Athens and he said to
the Athenians says we do not imitate for we are a model to others in so many ways
on the issue of gun safety from 1993 forward California has led we have seen
as a consequence of that a significant decline in the gun murder rate in this
state that goes well beyond the trendline nationally gun safety laws
save lives the extreme rhetoric on the other side that works
against basic common sense has to be called out for it is what it is the
extreme rhetoric on the other side that denies simple background checks has to
be called out California has done that on guns but the end of the day it is a
perverse fact the guns don’t kill people unless gun is used as a blunt instrument
the gun is not particularly dangerous a gun requires a dangerous component and
that’s ammunition it is rather curious why we advocate
background checks on guns but then we limit any consideration at least
nationally to that dangerous component ammunition you walk into a Walgreens or
CVS or rite-aid and you try to buy sudafed you got to provide some
information right now at this moment as we speak you can buy unlimited rounds of
ammunition on your smartphone have it delivered your doorstep the next day you
can be in a possession as it was suggested of a legal firearm that you
may have assembled or like a firearm that you got from a friend or family
member found or purchased illegally and you could buy legally unlimited rounds
of ammunition with no questions asked on Monday that changes California will
become the first state in this country to require point-of-sale background
checks on ammunition purchases and that’s a point of pride and that should
be a point of pride for every California this does not deny people their right to
purchase ammunition quite the contrary it basically codifies what we’re already
doing for guns and makes it a similar process for ammunition at point-of-sale
and because of senator de Leon’s leadership and the codification of some
of the rules that they had advanced the legislature and what we were trying to
do with prop 63 the senator led an effort to actually streamline and make
more efficient and effective these provisions starting on July 1st so
we’re proud of that we’re not however proud of the
National Rifle Association for holding in abeyance another component of prop 63
and that’s our effort to ban large capacity magazine clips which is a
common denominator and so many of these mass shootings that’s held up now in the
courts and we’re waiting for adjudication in the Ninth Circuit we are
proud that the state is leading on relinquishment a big issue that you’ve
all written about talked about is this issue of backlogs and the challenge that
we all have the burden that’s placed on the attorney general’s office Department
of Justice to go after those that are in possession of illegal firearms that are
on our prohibited purchasers list we know who they are but it’s difficult to
go back to claw back and go after that backlog what we’re doing in the state
first state in the country at adjudication there’s a relinquishment
process so going forward at least will mitigate that backlog no other state in
the country by the way is doing that we had done that in two messer domestic
violence now we’re doing that for all felonies that went into effect lost in
stolen guns to address the issue of gun trafficking that went into effect
another component of prop 63 but none of this is easy it’s stubborn on the
ammunition side they’re attempting to stop us but we’re ready to go on July
1st for those that feel well there’s been no notification this passed in 2016
yet all 2017 halt to 2018 I believe we’re in 2019 and I don’t know a gun
dealer that’s not familiar with this who’s not educated folks because I’ve
heard plenty of stories of what folks are saying about what we’re doing and
and so I anticipate everybody who’s familiar with this if they’re not
they’re about to be I don’t mean to be punitive in that respect I don’t mean to
be you know negative in that respect but I’ve heard some are concerned about
notification this past in 2016 and and so I think to be fair we’ve had plenty
of lead time on this for the implementation and application of these
rules and provisions as it relates to the Department of Justice more resources
were provided this year and it’s still not enough on the issue of
prevention more resources are put in the Calvet program then in the past I think
we Robin close to triple more than triple the cow funding which is not
insignificant and I want to applaud the legislature Buffy wicks and others for
their leadership and advocacy on that is well look we good enough never is in
this space all close we’ve got to continue to be vigilant we got to
continue to lead we got to lead by example and that’s what California does
that’s what we’re doing and we’re building on the incredible leadership
and that’s why we invited him of Senator DeLeon who deserved to be here and and I
just want to compliment him and as you suggested your colleagues over the
course of the last decade that have truly delivered so thank you all for
being here

Robin Kshlerin

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