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AG Bonta Says California Has the Blueprint for Reducing Gun Violence Nationwide
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By David Taub, Senior Reporter
Published 2 weeks ago on
May 30, 2024
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State AG Rob Bonta addresses efforts to reduce gun violence during a roundtable discussion in Fresno, Thursday, May 30, 2024. (GV Wire/David Taub)

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California Attorney General Rob Bonta endorsed a plan from Gov. Gavin Newsom for a Constitutional change to prevent gun violence.

In conjunction with the Fresno Economic Opportunities Commission, Bonta held a gun prevention violence roundtable in southwest Fresno on Thursday. He heard from several local and regional nonprofits about the need for funding.

Last year, Newsom proposed a 28th Amendment to include universal background checks, raising the firearm purchasing age to 21, creating a waiting period, and banning the purchases of assault-style weapons. Congress has not taken up the idea.

Asked by GV Wire if he would support changing or abolishing the Second Amendment, Bonta said he supports Newsom’s plan.

“I support that. The people of the United States of America support that,” Bonta said. “It is incumbent upon leaders like our governor, me, and others to take action that will answer that call to action. ”

California has led the way in preventing gun violence, Bonta said, by banning “assault” weapons, and large capacity magazines, and treating ghost guns as guns. He said California’s gun death rate is 40% lower than the national average.

“They work. They save lives. They prevent gun deaths. And we don’t want to only have those life-saving actions be enjoyed by Californians. Every American should enjoy (them),” Bonta said.

Bonta said he “respects the interpretation of (the Second Amendment) by our courts, including our U.S. Supreme Court.”

New State Gun & Ammo Tax Funds Prevention Programs

For nearly an hour, Bonta heard from gun prevention nonprofit leaders and community members about the effects of gun violence.

A common theme was the need for state grants to help carry out the mission, for programs such as Advance Peace, in Fresno.

A new law, AB 28 — taking effect July 1 — will raise an estimated $1.5 billion over 10 years from an 11% tax on firearm and ammunition sales. About half, Office of Gun Violence Prevention director Ari Freilich said, will go to gun violence prevention programs.

Speakers shared several ideas how to prevent gun violence. They included: those with “lived experiences” (i.e. ex-convicts) talking to vulnerable youth, more gun locks distributed to the community, and jail-to-jobs programs.

“The barriers are people that don’t realize that we matter, that our lives are as important as anyone else’s. For the most part, we’re expendable because people hear about a shooting that is just another one of the guys. They don’t see us as sons, fathers, children, period,” said Advance Peace program manager Aaron Foster.

Bonta Recounts Daughter’s School Being on Lockdown

Bonta told about his daughter texting him and his wife that her Oakland high school was on lockdown.

“As a parent, it sends chills down your spine. And, you fear the worst,” Bonta said.

“You wait for the next update, not knowing what’s happening. Seconds felt like minutes. Minutes felt like hours. And, ultimately, thankfully, Reina sent us a text that said the threat is gone. We’re no longer on lockdown. The shooter is no longer a threat. Huge sigh of relief, of course. And we are lucky,” Bonta said.

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David Taub,
Senior Reporter
Curiosity drives David Taub. The award-winning journalist might be shy, but feels mighty with a recorder in his hand. He doesn't see it his job to "hold public officials accountable," but does see it to provide readers (and voters) the information needed to make intelligent choices. Taub has been honored with several writing awards from the California News Publishers Association. He's just happy to have his stories read. Joining GV Wire in 2016, Taub covers politics, government and elections, mainly in the Fresno/Clovis area. He also writes columns about local eateries (Appetite for Fresno), pro wrestling (Off the Bottom Rope), and media (Media Man). Prior to joining the online news source, Taub worked as a radio producer for KMJ and PowerTalk 96.7 in Fresno. He also worked as an assignment editor for KCOY-TV in Santa Maria, California, and KSEE-TV in Fresno. He has also worked behind the scenes for several sports broadcasts, including the NCAA basketball tournament, and the Super Bowl. When not spending time with his family, Taub loves to officially score Fresno Grizzlies games. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Taub is a die-hard Giants and 49ers fan. He graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. Go Blue! You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email

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