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Gun Related Stats
Gun Deaths Are Mostly Suicides
Margot Sanger-Katz @sangerkatz
When Americans think about deaths from guns, we tend to focus on homicides. But the problem of gun suicide is inescapable: More than 60 percent of people in this country who die from guns die by suicide.
Suicide gets a lot less attention than murders for a few reasons. One big one is that news organizations generally don’t cover suicides the way they do murders. There’s evidence that news attention around suicide can lead to more suicides. Suicide is more stigmatized and less discussed than homicide.
California Gun Security
California institutes new gun laws for 2017
Editor’s Note: Updated to include clarification of guns with large capacity magazines purchased before 2000.
The New Year marked the beginning of wide sweeping changes to California’s gun laws.
With passed Assembly Bills (AB), Senate Bills (SB) and a California Proposition, California’s approximately 6 million gun owners can expect to see these changes take effect Jan. 1 and July 1 of this year.
Laws which went into effect as of Jan. 1 include:
Assault weapons re-defined
California has a new definition for an “assault weapon” that now includes semi-automatics, centerfire rifles or semi-automatic pistols that do not have fixed magazines.
SB 880 and AB 1135 banned the sale of these weapons and attempted to close the “bullet-button” loophole for guns created in response to the state’s original ban of military-style assault rifles.
“This is landmark legislation that strengthens the nation’s first assault weapon ban,” said AB 1135 author and Assemblymember Marc Levine in a press release. “This legislation closes a loophole in law that allows military-style assault rifles to be sold legally in California.”
Criminal Storage of a Firearm
In California, a person commits criminal storage of a firearm (in the third degree) by keeping or leaving a loaded firearm in a place where the defendant knows (or should have known) that a child under the age of 18 is likely to gain access to the gun without permission of the child’s parent or guardian, and the defendant does not take reasonable steps to secure the firearm. (Cal. Pen. Code, § 25105.)
For example, a person who keeps a loaded handgun in an unlocked drawer of a nightstand and regularly entertains children at home and allows them free access to the bedrooms, including the master bedroom, could be charged with criminal storage. However, if the person locks the nightstand drawer, locks the bedroom drawer, or keeps the gun in a locked safe, then the defendant has likely taken reasonable steps to secure the gun and would probably not be charged with third degree criminal storage of a firearm even if a child found the gun.