RELEASE: Legislation Expanded to Protect Domestic Violence Survivors from Ghost Guns

AB 1057 Passes California Senate Public Safety

For immediate release:

SACRAMENTO – Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris has expanded legislation to close a critical loophole in Gun Violence Restraining Orders (GVROs) to also cover Domestic Violence Restraining Orders (DVROs). AB 1057 will allow for ghost guns to be seized when an individual is deemed to be an extreme risk to themselves or others, or if a person has perpetrated abuse or threats of abuse.

“We have seen a horrific spike in the number of gun violence cases involving domestic violence during the COVID-19 Pandemic, which has only heightened the need to close loopholes in our gun safety laws,” said Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris (D-Laguna Beach). “By expanding AB 1057 to include DVROs, we can keep these DIY guns that look and kill like any other gun out of the hands of domestic violence perpetrators.”

A 2020 Bloomberg report found that 59.1% of the nearly 750 mass shootings from the previous six years were either domestic violence attacks or were committed by men with histories of domestic violence. Amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic, there has been a recorded increase in these rates. More than 2,000 people were killed by domestic-violence-related shootings in 2020 — a 4% increase nationwide over 2019, according to data from the Gun Violence Archive. In California, the total number of domestic violence-related calls for assistance involving a firearm rose from 1,388 in 2019 to 1,974, an increase of 42%.

“The presence of firearms in a situation of domestic violence significantly increases the risk of homicide, and AB 1057 closes an important loophole by ensuring that ghost guns can be seized when a domestic violence restraining order is issued,” said Krista Colon, Public Policy Director, California Partnership to End Domestic Violence. “We thank the Assemblywoman for her work on this important legislation to keep survivors and families safe.”
Ghost guns are homemade guns made from parts that are readily available and unregulated. Unlike other firearms, they can be bought without a background check and are not built by licensed manufacturers but come in kits that are easily assembled. The California Penal Code does not classify ghost guns as firearms, which prevents law enforcement from seizing them when serving a GVRO or a DVRO. 
By allowing for ghost guns to be seized under GVROs and DVROs, AB 1057 will ensure that those who are a known danger to themselves or others are not able to have these precursor parts which can be readily converted into a functional firearm.
AB 1057 is supported by Brady Campaign to End Gun Violence, California Partnership to End Domestic Violence, Center for Public Interest Law (Sponsor), Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund, Giffords, March for Our Lives San Diego, Moms Demand Action, San Diego City Attorney's Office, San Diegans for Gun Violence Prevention, Students Demand Action for Gun Sense in America and Women for American Values and Ethics.
This bill will be heard next by the Senate Appropriations Committee. 
“The fact that untraceable ghost guns aren’t included in extreme risk protection orders doesn't make any sense” said Tiffany Tretta, a volunteer with California Moms Demand Action and gun violence survivor whose daughter, Mia, was shot and wounded by a ghost gun in a shooting at Saugus High School in 2019. “Ghost guns have quickly become the fastest growing issue in gun safety and stolen the lives of countless people in California — including my daughter’s best friends and classmates. I’m grateful to Assemblywoman Petrie-Norris for providing another way to get these firearms out of the hands of people who are a threat to themselves and others.”

“California’s Gun Violence Restraining Order (GVRO) law has enjoyed broad bipartisan support. In emergency situations, it is clear that dangerous individuals should not have access to a deadly weapon, and it is inexcusable that there remain loopholes in the law that allow them to possess ghost gun kits and parts that can easily be assembled into a firearm,” said Legislative Chair of the Brady Campaign to End Gun Violence Amanda Wilcox. “Brady is grateful to Assemblymember Petrie-Norris for introducing and championing this legislation to close such a loophole. This bill will make all Californians safer.”

“As San Diego City Attorney, I’ve used Gun Violence Restraining Orders hundreds of times to keep guns out of the hands of those who wish to harm themselves or others,” San Diego City Attorney Mara W. Elliott said. “Keeping ahead of the national epidemic of gun violence requires constant vigilance by our lawmakers, however, which is why I'm proud to support Assemblymember Cottie Petrie-Norris’s AB 1057, which would ensure dangerous ghost guns and gun parts can be seized through a GVRO.” 

"AB 1057 advances California's goals to prevent gun violence tragedies before they occur,” saidAdministrative Director of the Center for Public Interest Law Bridget Gramme. “The Center for Public Interest Law is proud to support the inclusion of ghost-gun parts as seizable items under gun violence restraining orders. This bill will save lives by protecting those that may cause harm to themselves or others."

“Individuals prohibited from possessing purchased firearms should also be prohibited from possessing homemade firearms,” said AB 1057 Co-author Assemblymember Marc Berman (D-Menlo Park). “I am proud to co-author AB 1057 to close this dangerous loophole in California law.”

“When used properly, gun violence restraining orders are a powerful tool that can prevent mass shootings and save lives,” said AB 1057 Co-author Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel (D-Woodland Hills). “AB 1057 will help to close an unfortunate and deadly loophole so that GVROs can be used to their full potential. I’m proud to coauthor this important measure and applaud Assemblymember Petrie-Norris for her continued leadership on keeping our kids and communities safe from gun violence.”

“The increase in gun violence has become a national crisis that the State of California will not ignore, nor be immune from,” said AB 1057 Co-author Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva (D-Fullerton). “As a co-author of Assembly Bill 1057, I am proud to support legislation that will address the concerns in our current emergency Gun Violence Restraining Orders (GVRO’s). I firmly believe that we must continue to strengthen our laws as we focus on advocating for gun safety legislation.”

This bill is co-authored by Assemblymembers Marc Berman (D-Menlo Park), Jesse Gabriel (D-Woodland Hills), Marc Levine (D-Marin County), Sharon Quirk-Silva (D-Fullerton) and Mark Stone (D-Monterey Bay).