AB 785 Would Add Hate Crimes to the List of Misdemeanors Prohibiting Firearm Possession Within 10 Years of Conviction.

Washington, DC –  Americans for Responsible Solutions, the national gun violence prevention organization founded by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and retired NASA astronaut Captain Mark Kelly, and its partner organization, the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, today applauded the California State Assembly Public Safety Committee for advancing AB 785, a bill that will help keep guns out of dangerous hands, with unanimous bipartisan support. Current California state law prohibits persons who have been convicted of certain misdemeanors from purchasing or possessing firearms within 10 years of conviction. AB 785 will add convictions of hate crime misdemeanors to that list.

Ari Freilich, a staff attorney at Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, who testified at the California State House earlier today in support of AB 785, issued the following statement:

“Making our communities safer begins by making sure dangerous people are not able to get their hands on a gun. Strengthening our laws to make sure hate crime offenders are not able to own or acquire firearms within 10 years of their conviction is a common sense solution. Keeping lethal weapons out of the hands of those who have demonstrated a clear criminal danger toward others based on toxic bigotry will make our state safer and freer for all who call it home. I urge the Assembly to follow suit and pass this important bill in a bipartisan fashion.”

Between 2010 and 2014, roughly 43,000 hate crimes were committed in the United States involving the use or threatened use of a gun. AB 785 will help protect California residents from hate-motivated gun violence by:

·         Keeping guns out of the hands of violent extremists and hate groups.

·         Ensuring that individuals who have already demonstrated a propensity to escalate their bigotry into criminal conduct are temporarily prevented from possessing or acquiring firearms.

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About Americans for Responsible Solutions

Founded by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and Navy combat veteran and retired NASA astronaut Captain Mark Kelly, Americans for Responsible Solutions (ARS) is committed to advancing commonsense change that makes communities safer from gun violence and encouraging elected officials to advance responsible firearms policies. Americans for Responsible Solutions PAC is committed to helping elect candidates from both parties who support commonsense laws that make communities safer from gun violence. Learn more at responsiblesolutions.org and at @Resp_Solutions.

About the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence

Founded in the wake of the July 1, 1993, assault weapon massacre at 101 California Street in San Francisco that left eight dead and six wounded, the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence is now the premier resource for legal expertise and information regarding state and federal firearms laws. Made up of the foremost gun law attorneys in the nation, the Law Center tracks and analyzes firearms legislation in all 50 states, files amicus briefs in critical Second Amendment cases across the country, and works with lawmakers and advocates to craft and promote legislation that will reduce gun violence and save lives.  Learn more at smartgunlaws.org and at @smartgunlaws.