State government

Assembly OKs bill to expand gun-ban crimes

By From page A4 | September 13, 2013

The Assembly voted Wednesday to approve Senate Bill 755 by Sen. Lois Wolk, D-Davis, to prevent gun violence by adding multiple drug and alcohol convictions to the list of crimes subject to a 10-year firearms prohibition in California.

“This is a reasonable, commonsense measure to help prevent gun violence and keep our communities safe,” Wolk said in a news release. “SB 755 respects the rights of law-abiding gun owners by focusing on keeping guns out of the hands of repeat drug and alcohol offenders who are known to pose a greater risk of committing firearms offenses.”

SB 755 would add individuals with two or more drug or alcohol convictions within a three-year period to those subject to a 10-year firearms prohibition in California.

There is overwhelming evidence, including research by the Violence Prevention Research Program at UC Davis School of Medicine, that people convicted of multiple alcohol and drug offenses pose a much greater risk of committing violent crimes than the law-abiding population, Wolk said.

In fact, SB 755 follows recent recommendations made by the Center for Gun Policy and Research at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

“Given the clear links between alcohol abuse, firearm misuse and violence, this proposal is long overdue,” said Dr. Garen Wintemute, a physician and professor of emergency medicine who authored the UCD study. “Senator Wolk’s legislation continues California’s leadership in reducing gun violence and will hopefully set an example for others to follow.”

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