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Governor signs legislation to support survivors of domestic violence


Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed, several new laws to enhance protections for survivors of domestic violence and bolster the enforcement of California’s nation-leading gun safety laws, including measures to strengthen gun violence restraining orders and analyze crime gun data to track trends impacting communities across the state.

“California has the strongest gun safety laws in the nation, but we’re reminded every day that we can’t afford to be complacent in the fight against the gun violence epidemic in this country – we can and must do more,” said Newsom. “Today’s action strengthens enforcement of our common-sense gun safety laws, helping ensure that dangerous individuals who are prohibited from possessing firearms surrender their weapons and advancing other lifesaving polices to make our communities safer.”

SB 320 requires the implementation of uniform procedures to ensure individuals who are prohibited from owning firearms due to a domestic violence restraining order relinquish their weapons. The bill, authored by Sen. Susan Talamantes Eggman (D-5), also strengthens coordination between courts and law enforcement when there has been a violation of a relinquishment order. AB 1057 by Assemblymember Cottie Petrie-Norris (D-Laguna Beach) allows law enforcement to seize ghost guns under gun violence restraining orders and domestic violence restraining orders, expanding an important tool to protect survivors.

AB 1191 by Assemblymember Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento) requires the Department of Justice to analyze crime gun data to trace the history of firearms used in crime and identify trends, providing important insight on how these guns are trafficked.

SB 264 by Sen. Dave Min (D-Irvine) prohibits the sale of guns or ammunition at the Orange County Fair and Event Center. Gun violence prevention experts warn that gun shows can create a venue to circumvent gun safety laws.

Increasing access to the courts, AB 887 by Assemblymember Marc Levine (D-Marin County) enables domestic violence survivors to file restraining orders and temporary restraining orders electronically, and SB 538 by Sen. Susan Rubio (D-Baldwin Park) requires courts to enable electronic filing and remote appearances for domestic violence restraining orders and gun violence restraining orders.

Expanding access to California’s address confidentiality program, Safe at Home, the governor previously signed AB 277 by Assemblymember Suzette Valladares (R-Santa Clarita), which requires the application and related notices for the program to be available in at least five languages. AB 673 by Assemblymember Rudy Salas (D-Bakersfield) supports domestic violence shelter service providers by ensuring the timely distribution of grant funding administered by Cal OES.

California pioneered statewide gun safety protections, approved by voters in Proposition 63, to ban possession of large-capacity ammunition magazines and require background checks to keep ammunition out of the hands of dangerous people.

The 2021 state budget includes a $200 million investment in the CalVIP program to support initiatives designed to break the cycle of violence in disproportionately impacted communities. The budget also invests $11 million to facilitate outreach,  education and training efforts related to gun violence restraining orders and $10.3 million for local law enforcement agencies to support the seizure of firearms from individuals prohibited from possessing them.

The Governor advanced a series of initiatives to support survivors of domestic violence during the COVID-19 pandemic, including support for local service providers, a partnership with the Women’s Foundation of California to raise private funds that support domestic violence organizations and private sector partnerships to provide free accommodation and transportation to survivors fleeing violence. California has also launched “text-to-911” capability throughout the state and the 2021 state budget includes $15 million in funding for Cal OES to administer grants that support domestic and sexual violence prevention efforts.