Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen announced Aug. 3 that he is sponsoring an “unprecedented” statewide ballot initiative that seeks to “transcend the bitter politics of gun control and save the lives of crime victims, the suicidal and children.”
If approved by voters, the Gun Violence Prevention Act would impose a fee on ammunition purchases to fund enhanced treatment for mental health patients who may be dangerous; require all crime labs in California to take steps to solve shooting crimes; and improve healthcare for gunshot victims, says a press release from Rosen’s office.
Each year, more than 10,000 Californians are shot, Rosen said. There is a mass shooting, on average, almost every week in the state.
The financial cost of this “preventable carnage” is estimated at more than $18 billion a year, says the press release.
Rosen is seeking to put the measure on the ballot for the next statewide election in 2024.
“We cannot just give up knowing that in the next few weeks, a mentally ill gunman somewhere is going to shoot a lot of people,” Rosen said. “Practical Californians will lead the way beyond thoughts and prayers toward action and safety.”
Provisions of the GVPA proposal include:
Stopping potential shooters, assisting law enforcement
GVPA mandates that the State of California offer mental health treatment to people found dangerous to themselves or others, who are ordered to turn in their firearms because they violated a Red Flag Law or Domestic Violence Restraining Order, says the press release.
GVPA requires law enforcement and crime laboratories to collect and analyze all firearms and shell casings recovered from crime scenes, Rosen added. “That provision will connect shootings, identify perpetrators and solve more gun crimes more quickly.”
Make guns and gun owners safer
GVPA mandates trigger locks or gun safes for all stored guns; and in five years, all firearms in California will have a biometric locking mechanism if the initiative passes.
GVPA will enhance the education of lawful gun owners about vital health, legal and gun safety information, the press release continues. GVPA will require all gun owners to take at least four hours of gun safety training and pass an in-person test.
Care for victims
GVPA will require California to create a statewide network of Trauma Recovery Centers to provide gun violence victims with mental health assistance, critical counseling services and state-funded restitution to help victims recover, Rosen said.
Charge fees on ammunition and gun registration
GVPA will pay for these programs through an ammunition fee and a yearly firearm registration fee, Rosen said. GVPA’s ammunition fee will be the first of its kind in the nation.
If it qualifies through the state ballot initiative process—which includes the gathering and verification of signatures from registered voters—GVPA would appear on California’s Presidential General Election ballot on Nov. 5, 2024.
For information, visit gvpanow.org.