San Diego (KGTV)- Nearly four years after surviving the music festival shooting in Las Vegas, a San Diego law school graduate is working to increase gun violence prevention. The USD grad pushed for a new bill now making its way through the state legislature.
What started as a fun night in Las Vegas, with thousands attending the Route 91 Country Music Festival, ended as a complete tragedy.
“We started hearing the rapid noises, and at first I thought it was a busted speaker,” says USD Law School graduate Marcus Friedman.
He was among the crowd, inside a tent with his friends, next to the stage.
“It wasn’t until there was a pause, it continued, I saw the reaction from the people on stage. I saw the reaction to the security guards around the tent. I knew something was wrong.”
The gunman was firing from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort in 2017. Fifty-nine people were killed, and hundreds more were injured. Friedman and his friends were lucky to make it out safe.
Nearly a year later, Friedman attends law school at the University of San Diego. During his third year, he was awarded a scholarship to study gun violence prevention and create a project that would help others.
“In my research, I found a loophole in California law involving gun violence restraining orders.” The loophole found involved ghost guns. “It doesn’t cover precursor parts, unfinished frames, and receivers that people can use to assemble their own ghost guns.”
While working with California lawmakers, Friedman helped created Assembly Bill 1057. It won’t change any procedures regarding gun violence restraining orders, but it will expand the definition of firearms to include parts used to create ghost guns.
The bill passed the California State Assembly and is now sitting in the Senate.
Even though Friedman finish law school this May, he says, “there’s still a lot more work to be done, but it shouldn’t be about the firearms themselves. It should also be about the people that are experiencing trauma- our survivors, victims.”
Last month, San Diego Police Chief David Nisleit announced the department had seen a 169-percent increase in ghost guns over the past year.
President Joe Biden also issued an order for the Justice Department to develop a rule to help stop the proliferation of ghost guns.