Press Release

3 Gun Safety Bills by Sen. Blakespear Pass Senate Public Safety Committee

SB 1002 helps keep guns out of the hands of people with mental health crises, SB 1019 ensures firearms surrendered in gun buybacks are completely destroyed, and SB 1038 tightens rules designed to limit gun trafficking 

SACRAMENTO – Three bills by Sen. Catherine Blakespear, D-Encinitas, designed to reduce gun violence passed the Senate Public Safety Committee on Tuesday.

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. 

SB 1038 tightens restrictions aimed at eliminating gun trafficking by increasing scrutiny of gun dealer inventory, improving recordkeeping and reducing the time required for people to report lost or stolen firearms from five days to 48 hours.

In California, we have strong gun safety laws, but we need to make sure they are working as designed,” said Sen. Blakespear. “Each of these bills follows up on existing laws and takes the next step to ensure they are fully and properly implemented so that we know we are doing everything possible to reduce gun violence in our state.”

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 a person with a mental health crisis and access to a gun is 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, where involved, to inform individuals how to relinquish their weapons according to local procedures and the law.

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.

Lastly, SB 1038 confronts the ongoing problem of gun trafficking, which fuels gun crimes. By requiring quicker notification of a lost or stolen gun, the legislation helps law enforcement track and pursue illegal firearms, and by watching gun dealers more closely, it helps identify those who may not be following the law and are disproportionately contributing to gun crimes. SB 1038 is co-sponsored by the San Diego City Attorney’s Office and San Diegans For Gun Violence Prevention.

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. That legislation passed the Senate Public Safety Committee last Tuesday.

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

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