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Bill signed into law places decade ban on gun ownership for child, elder abuse

A handgun sits on a table inside a San Diego County gun shop, Sept. 5, 2018.
Roland Lizarondo
/
KPBS
A handgun sits on a table inside a San Diego County gun shop, Sept. 5, 2018.

A bill sponsored by Assembly member Brian Maienschein, D-San Diego, which prohibits those convicted of child or elder abuse from possessing firearms for 10 years, was signed into law Friday by Gov. Gavin Newsom.

AB 2239, which goes into effect Jan. 1, 2023, extends a prohibition on firearm ownership and/or possession for felony offenses and certain misdemeanors to misdemeanor convictions for child endangerment and elder abuse.

In a statement released shortly after the bill was signed, Maienschein said, "This measure will help keep guns away from dangerous individuals, specifically those convicted of child endangerment and elder abuse."

The San Diego City Attorney's Office said the bill "closes a significant loophole in California's gun laws."

City Attorney Mara Elliott said, "The people who lose their gun privileges under this law are convicted abusers who preyed on our most vulnerable citizens — elders and children — often while living under the same roof with them. Many lives will be saved by removing firearms from these households."

The bill was one of several gun-related measures signed Thursday by Newsom, including one by Assemblymember Chris Ward, D-San Diego, which prohibits the firearm precursor parts on the property at the Del Mar Fairgrounds.

"California has the toughest gun safety laws in the nation, but none of us can afford to be complacent in tackling the gun violence crisis ravaging our country," said Newsom. "These new measures will help keep children safe at school, keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people and responsibly regulate the sale of firearms in our communities. California will continue to lead on lifesaving polices that provide a model for action by other states and the nation."

San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria also praised AB 2239's signing.

Gloria said in a statement, "The city of San Diego is the proud sponsor of AB 2239, which protects communities by restricting gun access for those that commit senior and child abuse. San Diego is proud to be a leader in gun violence prevention. We cannot stand idly by while our nation is plagued by mass shootings. I am grateful to Assemblymember Maienschein for carrying this bill, to the City Attorney Mara Elliott for her partnership on this issue and to Gov. Gavin Newsom for his signature today."