Jackson Bill To Reduce Gun Violence Passes Key Committee

March 26, 2019
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SACRAMENTOState Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara)’s Senate Bill 55, which would restrict gun ownership among Californians with repeated convictions of certain alcohol offenses, passed the Senate Public Safety Committee today on a 5-1 vote. The bill is based on research by the UC Davis Violence Prevention Research Program (VPRP), which found an increased risk of future violence among firearm owners with certain alcohol-related convictions.

California law prohibits people convicted of certain crimes from possessing firearms either permanently or for a 10-year period. Senate Bill 55 adds specific crimes involving alcohol to the list of violations that result in a 10-year restriction on ownership and possession of firearms. These crimes include multiple driving under the influence (DUI) convictions or vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated.

Authored by Dr. Garen J. Wintemute and others in 2017, the UC Davis study found that prior alcohol-related convictions were associated with a four to fivefold increase in risk of incident arrest for a violent or firearm-related crime. The relative risk increase is greater than that seen for age or sex.

“We have to do more to combat the scourge of gun violence in our country,” said Senator Jackson. “Senate Bill 55 is an evidence-based, common sense measure to keep deadly firearms out of the hands of people at risk of committing gun violence. With research like the UC Davis study on which SB 55 is based, we can pursue data-driven policies to keep our communities safe.”

A second VPRP study of alcohol and risk for future crime among firearm owners, nearing completion, is funded in part by the University of California Firearm Violence Research Center, which was established by the California Legislature in 2016.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 3,184 Californians lost their lives to firearms in 2016. In the U.S. overall, the number was over 38,000.

SB 55 now heads to the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Jackson represents the 19th Senate District, which includes all of Santa Barbara County and western Ventura County.

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