Gun control activists in California have found a good friend in the state’s new governor, Gavin Newsom.
In his first few weeks in office, Newsom has quickly moved to reduce the number of Californians with firearms and given activists hope that a number of measures vetoed by former Gov. Jerry Brown will once again see the light of day.
“We have all the ingredients we need to make meaningful change,” state Assemblyman Jesse Gabriel said Monday at a press conference in Sacramento. “We have expanded Democratic majority in both houses. We have a bright and ambitious new governor with a real track record on this issue who wants to make this a priority.”
In his state budget plan, which was released just days after he took office in January, Newsom proposed an additional $5.6 million in funding – about 50 percent more than Brown allocated in his last budget – to seize firearms from the thousands of people who are ineligible to be gun owners because of past criminal convictions or mental illness. The gun seizure program has been underfunded in the past, with the result being that around 10,000 people in the state were able to purchase firearms, but later were convicted of a felony or found to have a serious mental illness.