Legislation Includes First-of-Its-Kind Bill to Require Schools to Send Home Information about Secure Firearm Storage and Bill to Add Violence Prevention Services as a Covered Medi-Cal Benefit
The California chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety, released the following statement applauding the California Senate for passing two lifesaving gun violence prevention bills today. AB 452 will require schools to notify parents and guardians about secure storage laws to ensure guns are being stored securely. AB 1929 will make community violence prevention programs and recovery services a covered Medi-Cal benefit. Over two thousand volunteers in California reached out to lawmakers in support of these gun violence prevention bills. They now head back to the Assembly for concurrence, then to Governor Gavin Newsom’s desk to be signed into law.
“Sending out information about the importance of secure firearm storage will make schools safer and save lives,” said Roan Thibault, a member of the Students Demand Action National Advisory Board in California. “Access to unsecured firearms at home too often leads to gun violence at school. This groundbreaking bill is a leap towards a California in which students no longer have to attend school in fear. We thank the state legislature for prioritizing school safety, and thank Women Against Gun Violence for their tireless advocacy.”
“Passing AB 1929 is a huge win for the gun violence prevention movement, filling a vital gap in equity in care,” said Emily Ault, a volunteer with the California chapter of Moms Demand Action. “Providing this benefit is a step towards breaking the cycles of violence, but there is still more work to be done. Our chapter will continue to fight tirelessly to make California safer.”
The Medi-Cal program is administered by the State Department of Health Care Services provides health care services to under which qualified low-income individuals. Hospital Based Intervention Programs (HVIPs) are a strategy to help break cycles of violence by providing intensive counseling, case management, and social services to patients recovering from violent injuries, instead of simply discharging them after they have physically recovered. Providing Medical coverage and violence prevention services for victims can result in cost savings to the state Medicaid program and the justice system—saving both lives and taxpayer dollars.
AB 452 will be the first state law in the country requiring schools statewide to give information to parents and guardians about how to securely store firearms, and the risks of children and unauthorized users having access to guns. Over the past two years, Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action volunteers, in partnership with Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund, have encouraged leaders at all levels of government to enact notification policies. Volunteers have successfully urged school boards across the country, covering more than 2 million students, to enact such notification policies, including school districts in Vermont, Texas, California, Arizona, Oregon, Colorado, South Carolina, and Georgia. This work is part of Everytown’s comprehensive approach to keeping schools safe from all forms of gun violence.
Secure storage laws are one of the simplest and most effective ways to prevent school shootings, gun suicides, and unintentional shootings by children. According to research from the U.S. Secret Service, up to 76% of school shooters obtain their gun from their home or the home of relatives
California is a national leader in gun violence prevention policy. Already in the 2022 legislative session, twelve gun safety bills have been passed, and subsequently signed by Governor Newsom. These bills include SB 1327, which creates a private right of action to allow individuals to sue people who violates certain California firearm laws; AB 2571, legislation to prohibit the gun industry from marketing firearms to minors; AB 2156, which cracks down on unlicensed manufacturers; AB 1621, legislation to further regulate ghost guns; and AB 1594, legislation to establish accountability for the firearm industry.
Gun violence is the leading cause of death for children and teens in California. Every year, over 3,100 Californians are shot and killed and nearly 7,300 are wounded. Gun violence costs California $41.9 billion each year, of which $1.1 billion is paid by taxpayers. More information about gun violence in California is available here.