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Gun violence prevention at the forefront for California leaders

Posted at 12:28 PM, Apr 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-19 15:28:31-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) – A state judiciary committee on Tuesday heard for the first time a proposed bill that would allow Californians to sue gun manufacturers for negligent practices.

Democratic state Assemblymember Phil Ting and several other lawmakers introduced Assembly Bill 1594 earlier this year.

Ting, based out of San Francisco, said, “In California, we pride ourselves on having fairly strict gun control laws, we’ve done better than other states but still not good enough.

Ting told the committee on Tuesday, “I think it's unfair that the toy industry has a lot more liability than the gun industry.”

The bill does have the support of many, like gun violence survivor Lauren Lee, who told the committee that AB 1594 is important.

Lee explained her sons were victims of the 1999 mass shooting at a Jewish Community Center in Los Angeles. She said she tried to pursue legal action, but her attempt was blocked by the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act.

“For both of my children, family and community the emotional scars will last a lifetime," she said.

Those who oppose AB 1594 say the bill goes too far.

Roy Griffith with the California Rifle and Pistol Association said the bill is too broad and almost anyone could take action against the industry.

“Firearms are inherently safe. They are an adamant tool. It is the operator that can sometimes be unsafe or negligent with malicious criminal intent. We should instead focus our time on those who chose to use firearms in the commission of a violent crime,” Griffith told the committee.

As the committee hearing was wrapping up, U.S. Rep. Sara Jacobs, who represents the state’s 53rd Congressional District, held a roundtable with local gun violence prevention advocates to learn more about the issue in San Diego.

She hopes to take what she learned back to Washington, D.C.