Press Release

Senate Passes Sen. Blakespear’s Legislation to Help Reduce Gun Violence

SACRAMENTO – The Senate on Thursday passed two bills by Sen. Catherine Blakespear, D-Encinitas, designed to reduce gun violence.

SB 1002 improves the implementation of a law aimed at keeping guns out of the hands of people experiencing mental health crises. Current law mandates that anyone placed on a 72-hour mental health hold must refrain from possessing a firearm, but many with guns never turn them in. SB 1002 makes several changes to increase compliance.

SB 1019 ensures that firearms turned in as part of gun-buyback programs or confiscated by law enforcement during investigations are completely destroyed. As the New York Times reported in December, many parts of guns collected in such programs end up being resold online as part of gun kits that can easily be turned into “ghost” guns.

The bills passed on a 37-0 vote and go next to the Assembly for consideration.  

“This is plain common sense to make sure people experiencing mental health crises don’t have access to firearms and that guns collected in gun-buyback programs are in fact entirely destroyed,” Sen. Blakespear said. “In California, we have strong gun safety laws. We just need to make sure they are being properly implemented and fully followed.”

SB 1002 is co-sponsored by the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department and San Diego City Attorney’s Office and has bipartisan support.

More than 4,800 people statewide who are required to relinquish their firearms due to mental health-related issues have not done so, according to the latest California Department of Justice (DOJ) statistics. This presents a significant danger because people experiencing mental health crises who have access to a gun are at risk of killing themselves or shooting others.

SB 1002 has four major components. The bill:

  1. Provides individuals a clear deadline of 72 hours after discharge from a health care facility to turn over their firearms.
  2. Requires the DOJ to inform the person of their firearm prohibition after discharge, ensuring the individual has been informed of their prohibition multiple times.
  3. Increases coordination between the DOJ and local law enforcement agencies by permitting local agencies greater access to information.
  4. Directs health care facilities and courts, when involved, to inform individuals how to relinquish their weapons according to local procedures and the law.

As for SB 1019, it makes the law clear that the entire gun must be destroyed. Because of how the law presently defines firearms, guns are legally “destroyed” when the serialized frame or receiver of a gun is destroyed. All of the things that make a gun a gun – the barrel, grip, slide, firing pin and magazine – do not have to be demolished under current law, when received in a gun-buyback program.

This has led to the practice of private companies buying the leftover parts and then reselling them as gun kits. SB 1019 puts a stop to this practice by mandating that the entire gun and all its parts must be demolished, honoring the original promise of gun-buyback programs to take guns off the streets. SB 1019 is sponsored by Brady.

In addition to these bills, Sen. Blakespear has joined with Sen. Nancy Skinner this year to author SB 899, which would improve the implementation of California’s Red Flag laws.  

Sen. Blakespear explained the importance of improving the implementation of gun laws, and how that can save lives, in an op-ed that was published in the Orange County Register

Elected in 2022, Sen. Blakespear represents Senate District 38, which covers northern San Diego County and part of southern Orange County. To learn more about the district and Sen. Blakespear, visit her Senate website.