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Assemblywoman Laura Friedman. (Kevin Sanders for California Globe)

School-Sent Firearm Storage Material Bill Passes Assembly Committee

AB 276 aims to lower youth access to firearms through more safety education

By Evan Symon, January 17, 2020 4:13 pm

A bill that would send parents materials on safe home firearm storage through schools has unanimously passed a second Assembly committee vote.

Under AB 276, authored by Assemblywoman Laura Friedman (D-Glendale), the Department of Education and Department of Justice would create materials about gun storage laws and child safety for school distribution.

According to Assemblywoman Friedman, the point of the bill would not be gun restrictions, but rather giving parents information on how to safely store weapons, how to keep weapons from youths who may not have knowledge of weapons, and give a reminder to parents on what the current laws are in California regarding gun storage.

In a press release, Assemblywoman Friedman cited statistics showing that one out of every four homes in California had a gun. She also cited statistics showing that 75% of school shootings occurred because minors had access to unsecured firearms.

“The statistics are clear. Safe gun storage saves lives,” said Assemblywoman Friedman. “Ensuring that families have accurate information about the law regarding safe gun storage, the dangers of improper storage, and how best to keep firearms secured is a proven way to reduce the life-threatening risks of guns in the home.”

The bill has seen widespread, bipartisan support ranging from gun control groups such as the Brady California United Against Gun Violence to gun range owners supporting the bill.

“I was initially worried about [AB 276], as well as a lot of other new laws they were threatening,” said Bob Briggs, a gun range owner in Imperial County. “But I’ve seen what it actually wants, and all it does is say what most responsible gun owners have said for years. You know, guns aren’t toys, and your children shouldn’t even touch them until they learn how to use them safely, and like the bill said, how to store them safely.

I actually sell a lot of gun safes to families out here, because this is how safe the average gun owner really is. We aren’t the yahoos in the news . We have them for hunting or for sport or for home defense, and safety is big. [AB 276] doesn’t restrict anything. If it did, we’d be dead-set against it. No, it just sends out gun safety info.”

AB 276 has seen some gun-rights groups, such as the NRA, come out against the bill, who have said that giving safety information for a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach doesn’t ‘fit all gun owners situations’.

While there has still been opposition to the bill, it has largely not been seen in the new session. AB 276 had been delayed since 2019 where it was held back due to a large number of other gun laws being voted on, such as the gun storage bill SB 172. But this session the bill has been passed unanimously in both the Assembly Rules and Education committees.

The bill is to be voted on next in the Assembly Appropriations Committee, where it is expected to be voted unanimously again by both parties.

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