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Attorney General urges statewide gun violence prevention efforts modeled on San Diego

Attorney General Bonta was in San Diego today to urge statewide Law Enforcement to make the most of Red Flag Laws, that can take guns out of the hands of people who threaten gun violence. KPBS reporter Jacob Aere says Bonta called the region an example of firearm safety and gun violence prevention.

California Attorney General Rob Bonta spoke outside of the downtown San Diego courthouse Thursday to promote strategies to help prevent gun violence across the state.

He said San Diego is leading the way in its use of red flag laws, known as Gun Violence Restraining Orders, and other parts of California need to follow suit.

“Thirty-two percent of all gun restraining orders were issued right here, despite San Diego County being just 8% of California's total population,” Bonta said.

He said those increased numbers are due to the county’s greater efforts to prevent crime, not a higher proportion of crime in the region.

Attorney General Bonta also highlighted the work of the City of San Diego to educate community and law enforcement partners about the use of Gun Violence Restraining Orders and Domestic Violence Restraining Orders.

San Diego City Attorney Mara Elliott invited other jurisdictions to reach out to her office for help to set up similar programs.

“Over the last five years, we have obtained Gun Violence Restraining Orders against more than 900 individuals with firearms or access to firearms,” Elliott said. “In each case a court has reviewed the evidence and determined that a dangerous situation existed. More than 50 of those Gun Violence Restraining Orders were in response to threats of mass casualty events.”

Bonta urged California sheriff’s departments to take advantage of grant funding through the Gun Violence Reduction Program.

“My office is providing a total of $10 million, including $5 million dollars we have yet to allocate, in grants to support county-level law enforcement efforts to seize weapons and ammunition from individuals, barred from possession and in the Armed Prohibited Persons System,” he said.

The second round of funding for sheriff’s departments is now available, with a submission due date of September 2.

Bonta said anyone who believes a person to be a danger to themselves or others should contact local law enforcement.

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