(SACRAMENTO) – The California State Assembly today approved AB 424 by Assemblymember Kevin McCarty (D- Sacramento), which will update California’s Gun Free School Zones law to make schools truly gun free. The measure was approved on a vote of 43-23.
While civilian possession of a gun on a school campus is prohibited, a school district can currently authorize an armed civilian with a Concealed Carry Weapon (CCW) permit to enter a school campus. A number of California school districts including Folsom Cordova Unified, Kingsburg Joint Union, Anderson Union, and Kern school districts have begun to issue these authorizations, increasing the number of guns on K-12 school campuses and the risk of an on campus shooting.
AB 424 would eliminate this loophole, reducing the number of guns on school campuses, making school campuses safer and fulfilling the original intent of California’s Gun Free School Zones law.
"Nothing that was important to me before Chris was killed is as important to me now,” said Richard Martinez, a member of the Everytown Survivor Network and Senior Associate for Everytown for Gun Safety, whose son Christopher Ross Michaels-Martinez was shot and killed in Isla Vista, California in May of 2014. “The only thing that’s important is the work that I do to help prevent other families from experiencing the same loss. That's why I support Assembly Bill 424."
Since 2013, over 200 school shootings have taken place in America — an average of nearly one a week.
“A safe learning environment is essential for our children to be successful in the classroom,” said Assemblymember Kevin McCarty (D – Sacramento). “That’s not possible if a school district allows armed civilians to roam California school campuses. Today’s approval of AB 424 by the State Assembly is the latest example of California leading the nation’s efforts to reduce gun violence and keep guns out of our schools.”
AB 424 now moves to the State Senate for further consideration.
Kevin McCarty represents California’s 7th Assembly District, which include the cities of Sacramento, West Sacramento and unincorporated Sacramento County. McCarty serves as Chair of the Assembly Budget Subcommittee on Education Finance.