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If signed into law, SB 417 would require new signage in gun stores statewide. Stock photo
If signed into law, SB 417 would require new signage in gun stores statewide. Stock photo
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Blakespear’s gun safety bill heads to Assembly ahead of Cardiff rally

REGION – A bill introduced by newly-elected State Sen. Senator Catherine Blakespear (D-Encinitas) requiring California gun sellers to post warnings about the dangers of firearms in the home is now making its way to the state Assembly.

First introduced in February, Senate Bill 417 would require more signage in gun stores to help prevent unnecessary deaths or suicide. 

SB 417 was approved on a bipartisan vote of 32 to 4, with the four votes against the bill from State Sens. Marie Alvarado-Gil, Brian Dahle, Brian Jones, and Roger Niello.

The legislation would amend an existing section of a state law requiring the sale or transfer of a firearm to be processed through a licensed dealer and for each dealer to conspicuously post specific warnings and notices within their licensed premises.

The current requirements include notices related to safe storage requirements, reporting lost and stolen firearms, and information regarding the suicide prevention lifeline.

In 2019, Assembly Bill 645, sponsored by Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin (D-Thousand Oaks), added that gun stores must post a notice including information about a suicide prevention program and providing the national suicide prevention lifeline telephone number.

The only thing new that SB 417 is adding to this preexisting notice is “Access to a firearm in the home significantly increases the risk of suicide, death, and injury during domestic violence disputes, and the unintentional death and traumatic injury to children, household members, and guests. If you or a loved one is experiencing distress or depression or is contemplating…”

The rest of the notice remains nearly identical to what is already statutorily required. 

Blakespear, along with bill supporters Moms Demand Action’s San Diego North County Chapter and Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund, hope to further educate gun owners on safe storage if there is a firearm in a home.

“SB 417 is another step to help prevent gun violence and keep families safe,” Blakespear said. “By being made aware of the increased risks created by having a gun in their homes, gun owners are more likely to take measures to safely store their firearms to prevent them from being misused.”

If passed in the Assembly and signed by the governor, gun stores around the state will be required to follow this amended bill starting Jan. 1, 2024. While no opposition is currently listed in the bills’ documents, San Diego County Gun Owners PAC commented that this bill would do nothing more than direct the blame at gun stores.

SDCGO is very supportive of efforts to prevent suicide. Suicide accounts for the vast majority of deaths where a gun is involved,” said Michael Schwartz, executive director of San Diego County Gun Owners PAC. “However, SB 417 won’t help save a life and is nothing more than a thinly-veiled effort to put the blame and responsibility of tragedy on gun shops and paint gun ownership as dangerous.”

This is not the only legislation causing friction among current and prospective gun owners. Firearms advocates filed a lawsuit against state Attorney General Rob Bonta and Allison Mendoza, the California Department of Justice director of the Bureau of Firearms, challenging California’s 10-day waiting period for gun purchases.

The case alleges the state’s waiting period law “prevents law-abiding people from taking possession of lawfully acquired firearms for immediate self-defense and other lawful purposes.”

In 2011, 2nd Amendment groups filed a similar challenge, and a U.S. district judge in Fresno overturned the mandatory waiting period. This overturning was challenged in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, and it reversed the district judge’s ruling, keeping the waiting period in place, and further, in 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the case.

The case was just filed at the beginning of May and is now sending notices for appearances to be made in court as of May 15.

Wear Orange Gun Violence Awareness Rally

The group Moms Demand Action local chapter, a supporter of SB 417, and Students Demand Action are hosting a Wear Orange gun violence awareness rally in early June in Cardiff.

Like in years past, the two groups host a Wear Orange rally in honor of Hadiya Pendleton, who was shot and killed on a playground in Chicago. The national campaign is recognized every year in June on Hadiya’s birthday.

“Mom’s Demand Action and Everytown for Gun Safety became involved and made it part of our program in June to celebrate Wear Orange, which is actually on National Gun Violence Awareness Day,” said Nancy Hardwick, a volunteer at Moms Demand Action in North County. “It’s evolved into more of a national event, and we plan different events around the country to recognize the more than 85,000 people who are shot and wounded in the United States annually.”

The Cardiff event will take place from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on June 3 at the Cardiff Kook on Coast Highway 101.

“We have the high school students from various schools in North County taking the lead on this event. They will make some brief comments, along with special guests, including Senator Blakespear and Mayor Tony Kranz, and then we’ll do some sign-waving,” Hardwick said. “We did this last year and had a huge turnout; we probably had 150 people or more. We have a smaller site this year, so we are hoping for maybe 50 people.”

Hardwick, like the entire Moms Demand Action group, hopes to see positive changes come from the multiple rallies that are not only happening around the county but around the country in June.

1 comment

steve333 May 19, 2023 at 12:00 pm

Could this Bill be anymore worthless?
Blakespear, how about doing something to reverse State control over local housing? Remember how you said you only approved all of the horrendous developments like Goodson only because you were forced to?
Of course we all knew you were lying.

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