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Weekend Action: Write a Letter Supporting Gun Violence Restraining Orders


EMAIL LETTER TO:
Brandon Bjerke, office of Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin: 
Brandon.Bjerke@asm.ca.gov/

Sample Letter:

The Honorable Reginald Byron Jones-Sawyer, Sr.
Assembly Committee on Public Safety
1020 N Street, Room 111
Sacramento, California 95814

Re: AB 12 (Irwin): Firearms: gun violence restraining orders – SUPPORT

Chair Jones-Sawyer,

I am pleased to support AB 12 by Assemblymember Irwin.

AB 12 includes a number of changes to Gun Violence Restraining Orders (GVROs) that I believe will make them a more effective and efficient tool for law enforcement and families throughout the state.

The bill includes important clarifications that will allow more consistent application of the orders, as jurisdictions begin to issue more orders as law enforcement and the public become more aware of their availability to those in dangerous situations. Being able to quickly disarm an individual who poses a danger to himself or others is of critical importance. With firearms out of the equation, communities across the state can hopefully prevent the loss of more family members, friends, and neighbors to gun violence.

[Include one or two of these policy-specific options]

  • The search warrant provision of AB 12 will streamline the efforts of law enforcement, and is similar to the statutes of other states. By allowing a judge to issue a GVRO and a search warrant at the same time, law enforcement will be able to stop a restrained individual from concealing or using firearms after an order is served.

  • Extending the duration of the gun violence restraining order (after notice and a hearing) from one to five years, and thereby eliminating the need for hearings to gain extensions, will lessen the law’s impact on families, law enforcement, and the courts. The bill ensures a restrained person still has the ability to petition for restoration of the right to possess a firearm, but does so with a more balanced approach.

  • By clarifying that restrained individuals will not have 24 hours to sell or transfer firearms after an emergency temporary order is served, AB 12 will help those implementing GVROs avoid deadly misinterpretations. An individual whose possession of a firearm has been found by the court to be an immediate and present danger should not be able to possess that firearm for an additional 24 hours after service of a GVRO.   

I strongly urge you and the other members of the Assembly Public Safety Committee to support AB 12.

Sincerely,

[Name] 

Cc:       The Honorable Jacqui Irwin, Author
Members, Assembly Committee on Public Safety


BACKGROUND
Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin’s bill to streamline and expand the use of Gun Violence Restraining Orders (GVROs), which allow police to remove weapons from individuals considered to be an immediate danger to themselves or others, is currently under consideration in the Assembly’s Committee on Public Safety. A.B. 12 would, in most cases, end the delay between a family member (or law enforcement’s) seeking a court order GVRO and the actual issuance of that order — a delay that gives the owner time to hide, lend or sell his weapons. The bill also would provide additional training and other resources to law enforcement to help them better understand and implement GVROs.

The bill has come under fire from 2nd-amendment advocates, as expected — but also from the ACLU, which believes its broad application might affect individuals of color disproportionately. ASM Irwin and other advocates of the bill are addressing those concerns as the bill moves forward. However, Irwin and her staff believe A.B. 12 is likely to require a push of advocacy from constituents — particularly those in communities affected by the Borderline shooting and other recent tragedies. As a result, they have requested that we write letters and send them to her Sacramento office, with Public Safety Committee chair Reginald Byron Jones-Sawyer and other committee members the ultimate recipients.