Senate Bill 368, authored by Senator Anthony J. Portantino (D – Burbank), was signed into law by Governor Newsom. SB 368 is a commonsense gun safety effort that would expand and strengthen firearm ownership prohibition laws and create additional responsibilities for commercial gun stores. It was partly inspired by gun safety activists in Burbank during an anti-gun store opening protest.
“I am grateful to neighbors in Burbank for speaking up and the Governor for signing SB 368,” stated Senator Portantino. “Data tells us that households with firearms have a higher risk of suicide and accidental firearm injuries. Additionally, violating the 10-year prohibition makes a person incapable of safely owning a gun. An easier path to gun storage and thorough risk assessment will make California safer.”
When compared to households without firearms, households that have firearms face a higher risk of homicide, suicide, and accidental firearm injury of a household member. Voluntary, temporary transfer of firearms for the duration of a crisis can save lives. Currently, however, licensed retailers and law enforcement agencies are not required to accept and store firearms during a mental health crisis.
“The Burbank community is relieved and grateful that Senator Portantino and others in Sacramento took action to help us here in Burbank. With 14 gun stores in our city the fact that they will not be handing out free gun accessories to entice more customers is a big relief for all of us,” commented Burbank community leader Linda Bessin.
SB 368 would:
- would require a licensed firearms dealer to accept for storage a firearm transferred by an individual to prevent it from being used during periods of crisis.
- prohibit a licensed firearms dealer from offering an opportunity to win an item of inventory in a game dominated by chance and would exempt from this prohibition nonprofit organizations under certain circumstances.
- extend the 10-year prohibition on owning a firearm by an additional 10 years if an individual is found to be in violation within the initial 10 years.
“It is fitting that this month – suicide prevention awareness month – Governor Newsom has signed SB 368 into law,” stated Margot Bennett, Executive Director of Women Against Gun Violence. “So far this year alone there have been almost 18,000 suicides by firearm in the United States and the suicide rate continues to increase among young people and is at a 10-year high. It is with great appreciation and recognition for Senator Portantino’s efforts and Governor Newsom’s signing of this important legislation that we applaud this much needed common sense strategy to help save lives.”
Senator Portantino has long been a champion of common sense gun reform policies. During his time in the Assembly, he successfully banned the open carry of handguns and rifles in California and as Senator, he raised the firearm purchase age in California to twenty-one. The Senator has authored legislation related to firearms storage and gun purchase safeguards, as well as a legislation that reduces the number of firearms an unlicensed individual is annually able to sell and the frequency with which they are able to sell. Most recently, he authored legislation aimed at preventing tragic schools shootings and a major gun reform measure that offers a new tool to combat the rise in gun violence and save lives – a private right of action.