A recently introduced bill aiming to increase gun safety would amend existing California law to place a 10-year ban on firearm possession for people convicted of several additional misdemeanors.
Assembly Bill 2239, introduced by California assemblymember Brian Maienschein, aims to amend the section of the Penal Code relating to firearms to prohibit firearms for one year people convicted of misdemeanor child abuse, elder abuse, carry of a concealed firearm, carry of a loaded firearm in public and more.
California law prohibits anyone convicted of a felony from possessing a firearm and already includes several misdemeanors that would trigger a 10-year ban on firearms.
Maienschein was joined by San Diego's Mayor Todd Gloria, City Council Member Marni von Wilpert and City Attorney Mara Elliott to introduce Friday the legislation he said would keep guns out of the hands of the wrong people.
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"Allowing firearms to be placed in the hands of the wrong individuals can have disastrous effects," Maienschein said. "This bill is not a permanent fix to this issue, but I am confident that AB 2239 will help California take the necessary steps in advancing protections for vulnerable individuals from violent offenders."
The bill is opposed by gun rights advocates who say the bill is a form of government overreach, and a way to convict gun owners and prevent them from further ownership.
AB 2239 needs a simple majority to pass but has a long process ahead of it. It has not yet been heard in legislative session.
In September, San Diego banned firearms without individual serial numbers -- so-called "ghost guns" -- in the city in an attempt to address increasing gun violence. In 2020, San Diego saw a 169% increase in the number of ghost guns retrieved and impounded compared to the previous year.
A similar measure was passed by the county in January, as well as requiring firearms have either a trigger lock or be locked in a secure container when not in possession of a lawful gun owner. AB-2239 would continue gun regulations driven by local elected leaders.
"This bill closes a significant loophole in California laws, which prohibit individuals from having guns when they are guilty of assaulting a stranger, but not when they abuse children or seniors," Elliott said. "By removing guns from these households, we can protect our most vulnerable citizens from the escalating violence that occurs when abusers have unfettered access to firearms."