- Jennifer Tang
- (323) 264-4949
MONTEREY PARK, CA - Today, Assemblymember Mike Fong (D-Alhambra) was joined by the Prosecutors Alliance of California, Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascón, and local leaders, to announce three new bills designed to combat the proliferation of firearms and to expand language access during emergencies like mass shootings.
“With shootings happening almost daily at schools, grocery stores, churches and dance studios, we can’t rely on heroes to stop the endless scourge of gun violence plaguing our country,” said Assemblymember Mike Fong (D-Alhambra). “Lawmakers are the ones who have the power to end this plague, and I’m proud to take leadership on this effort to help get weapons off our streets. I look forward to working in partnership with the Prosecutors Alliance of California and gun safety advocates to pass these measures.”
“It’s unconscionable that we allow law enforcement agencies to resell guns in our communities,” said Prosecutors Alliance Founder and Executive Director Cristine Soto DeBerry. “To make matters worse, we have failed to remove guns from individuals convicted of serious crimes. These proposed gun safety bills will limit the rapid proliferation of guns on our streets and keep guns away from those who threaten our safety.”
The DOJ reports that each year about 5,000 people are added to the Armed Prohibited Persons System (APPS) due to a criminal conviction. According to the California Department of Justice, there are 23,869 who are prohibited from possessing a firearm yet continue to have a gun registered in their name as of January 1, 2023. These are all cases where the courts failed to effectively confirm surrender of firearms at the time the person was convicted. AB 732, which is authored by Assemblymember Fong (D-Alhambra) and sponsored by the Prosecutors Alliance, strengthens the process for removing firearms from people who are prohibited from owning them due to a criminal conviction by increasing the court and prosecuting attorney’s roles in ensuring that guns are relinquished at the time of conviction. In sum, the court would not be able to close a case until there is proof that the firearm has been relinquished.
In addition, there is a gap in communication between DOJ and local law enforcement regarding armed prohibited persons. Currently, DOJ provides information to local law enforcement about people in their jurisdiction who are on the APPS list. But a recent report by CalMatters reveals that many local law enforcement agencies do not even know they receive these lists, let alone take action to remove firearms from those not allowed to possess them. AB 732 addresses this problem by requiring local law enforcement to designate someone to receive updates on armed prohibited persons in their area and to report to DOJ their efforts to secure relinquishment of the firearms.
Another measure, AB 733, which is also authored by Assemblymember Fong, would prohibit state and local agencies from selling firearms, firearm parts, ammunition, and body armor, ensuring that these government entities are following best practices and that they are not playing a role in putting more deadly weapons on the streets of our local communities.
“The data is clear: more guns means more violence and more victims,” said George Gascón, Los Angeles County District Attorney. “Law enforcement must be in the business of getting guns off our streets, not arming our communities. I applaud Assemblymember Fong and the Prosecutors Alliance of California for their leadership and urge the legislature to pass these critical gun safety laws.”
Assemblymember Fong also announced AB 1638, which would require local public agencies serving a jurisdiction where 10% or more of the population speaks a language other than English to provide any information during an emergency situation in that language. This bill will expand access to important information about emergency situations in communities with significant populations of non-English speaking residents, such as those in Monterey Park and surrounding cities.