Los Angeles, CA (Vocus) October 16, 2009
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger joined California Campaign Brady Chapter leaders at a dispatch center of the Los Angeles Police Department this morning to celebrate the passage, and his signing, of AB 962 that will help law enforcement track down and apprehend armed criminals and other prohibited persons.
Officials of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence will now urge leaders in other states to consider adopting California's innovative new law which will help law enforcement determine when dangerous people are in possession of illegal handgun ammunition and illegal guns. This bill was the California Brady Campaign Chapters' top priority in this year's state legislative session.
AB 962, authored by Assembly Member Kevin DeLeon (D-Los Angeles), had the support of law enforcement officials from across the state and was modeled after successful city ordinances in Sacramento and Los Angeles. The law requires maintenance of purchaser records by handgun ammunition vendors. Local law enforcement can use these records to track down and disarm prohibited persons in possession of illegal ammunition and illegal guns.
"Once again, California has set an example for the rest of the country by adopting common sense measures to give law enforcement powerful tools to disarm felons and gang members in possession of illegal guns and bullets," said Paul Helmke, President of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. "Other states should note what California has done here, and consider similar measures."
"We are grateful for Assembly Member DeLeon's leadership on this issue, and grateful to Governor Schwarzenegger for signing this bill into law," said Mary Leigh Blek, President Emeritus of the Million Mom March, lifetime Republican and a longtime leader in the California Brady Campaign Chapters. "Gun violence has no party affiliation and Governor Schwarzenegger understands this. Gun violence is everyone's problem and this bill will go a long way in helping to prevent the needless loss of life."
"On behalf of the many victims of gun violence in California and our California Brady Campaign Chapters throughout the state, we are grateful to Governor Schwarzenegger for signing this important legislation and standing with gun violence victims as he signs AB 962 into law," said Kay Holmen, Past President of the California Brady Campaign Chapters.
Attending the press conference to celebrate the bill were Suzanne Verge, President, Los Angeles Brady Campaign Chapter; Jeff Peak, member, Los Angeles Brady Campaign Chapter; Mary Leigh Blek, Co-President, Orange County Brady Campaign Chapter and President Emeritus of the Million Mom March; Charlie Blek, Co-President, Orange County Brady Campaign Chapter (and husband of Mary Leigh); Kay Holmen, Past President, California Brady Campaign Chapters (member San Fernando Valley Brady Campaign Chapter); Donna Finkelstein, President of the San Fernando Valley Brady Campaign Chapter; Loren Lieb, Vice President, California Brady Campaign Chapters (member San Fernando Valley Brady Campaign Chapter); Josh Stepakoff, a shooting victim of the North Valley Jewish Community Center shooting 10 years ago, and San Fernando Valley Brady Campaign Chapter member; and Sarah Londer, San Fernando Valley Brady Campaign Chapter member.
A 2006 study by the Rand Corporation on Los Angeles' city ordinance showed 10,050 rounds of ammunition were purchased by prohibited persons in a period of just two months. The study concluded "…monitoring ammunition transactions may help reduce the supply of ammunition to criminals and the frequency of injuries from felonious gun assaults. Such a record can also provide information for generating leads on illegal firearm possession."
In Sacramento, from January 16, 2008 to August 31, 2009, 229 prohibited people, including gang members, purchased ammunition; 173 had previous felony convictions. From the matching of ammunition purchase records to the California prohibited persons file, the Sacramento DA was able to charge 181 of the purchasers with felonies. In addition, 160 illegal firearms were seized from the prohibited persons, as well as cash, drugs, and explosive devices.
As the nation's largest, non-partisan, grassroots organization leading the fight to prevent gun violence, the Brady Campaign, with its dedicated network of Brady Campaign and Million Mom March Chapters, works to enact and enforce sensible gun laws, regulations and public policies. The Brady Campaign is devoted to creating an America free from gun violence, where all Americans are safe at home, at school, at work, and in our communities.
For continuing insight and comment on the gun issue, read Paul Helmke's blog at http://www.bradycampaign.org/blog/. Visit the Brady Campaign websites at http://www.bradycampaign.org or http://www.bradycampaign.org/CA.