Sacramento Snapshot: Gun violence prevention measure heads to the governor

A public safety bill meant to foster more data sharing between the state and local law enforcement agencies to ensure guns are kept away from those legally prohibited from owning them was sent to the governor last week.

From Assemblymember Laurie Davies, R-Laguna Niguel, the bill requires the California Department of Justice to share certain information related to people in the APPS database — a state system that tracks firearm owners who fall into a prohibited status — with local law enforcement agencies. This can include personal identifying information, known firearms associated with the person, why the person is prohibited from owning a gun and more.

While current law requires the attorney general to provide investigative assistance to law enforcement agencies regarding individuals who are armed but prohibited from possessing guns, the statute doesn’t specifically describe what that assistance entails, according to the bill’s fact sheet.

This bill, the fact sheet says, would ensure greater communication between the state and local law enforcement agencies during investigations on people listed in the APPS database.

In previous comments about her legislation, Davies pointed to the mass shootings earlier this year in Monterey Park and Half Moon Bay, saying those tragedies “illustrate a dire need for California to reform how our state’s gun violence prevention programs are operating.”

“Thoughts and prayers are no longer enough,” said Davies. “If our local law enforcement agencies are given more information by the Department of Justice, they can more easily and swiftly remove firearms from known criminals. This is key for keeping our communities safe.”

Legislators passed Davies’ bill — with zero no votes in either the Assembly or Senate — last week, a day after a gunman killed three people and wounded six others at a popular bar in Trabuco Canyon. There, the gunman was armed with four guns that were purchased legally.

Two bills from Sen. Tom Umberg, D-Santa Ana, related to transparency and the sale of public property in Orange County passed out of a key Assembly committee last week. While the proposals have been before the legislature for a few years, the recent investigation into alleged corruption in Anaheim — examining questions of city dealings, including the sale of Angel Stadium, council decisions, campaign contributions, contracts, potential Brown Act violations and more — put renewed attention on the bills.

One measure would prohibit an Orange County city or the county from selling or leasing surplus land if it’s in violation of the Surplus Land Act, which dictates how unneeded property can be disposed of. The county or city would have time to rectify issues once it’s notified that it violated existing law.

The other would require an entity that potentially violated the Surplus Land Act to hold an open review session so residents could give feedback.

“Despite being disheartened by seeing so many government entities fighting to avoid transparency with the current surplus land law, we have conceded on areas of this measure, in particular, to increase its chance of passage,” said Umberg. “At the very least, the people of Anaheim and Orange County deserve accountability with their tax dollars in light of the ongoing stadium mess.”