Assemblywoman Petrie-Norris introduces bill designed to rid California of ghost guns

Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris (D-Laguna Beach) announced the introduction last Thursday, April 1, of AB 1057, a bill designed “to improve public safety and stem the scourge of gun violence in California.” The bill would allow for the seizure of ghost guns when an emergency Gun Violence Restraining Order (GVRO) is served.

According to Assemblywoman Petrie-Norris, by closing this loophole in the current law, law enforcement will be able to confiscate these untraceable, handmade guns in addition to traditional licensed firearms when a person is deemed by the court to be a threat to themselves or others. This bill is supported by the Brady Campaign to End Gun Violence, the Center for Public Interest Law, Giffords, March for Our Lives San Diego, San Diego City Attorney’s Office, and Women for American Values and Ethics. 

Assemblywoman Petrie Norris

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Courtesy of the Office of Cottie Petrie-Norris

Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris

Ghost guns are homemade guns made from parts that are readily available and unregulated. Unlike other firearms, they can be bought without a background check and are not built by licensed manufacturers but come in kits that are easily assembled. The California Penal Code does not classify ghost guns as firearms, which prevents law enforcement from seizing them when serving a GVRO. 

“If something looks like a gun and shoots bullets like a gun it should be treated like a gun,” said Assemblywoman Petrie-Norris. “It is critical that we close this dangerous loophole – Assembly Bill 1057 will give the courts and law enforcement the tools to enforce restraining orders, and to protect innocent Californians from the tragedy of gun violence.”

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has reported that 31 percent of guns recovered in California were un-serialized, untraceable ghost guns, putting the public and law enforcement in danger. Additionally, more than 2,500 ghost guns were connected to criminal activity in 114 federal cases from 2010 through April 2020. 

This bill is co-authored by Assembly members Marc Berman (D-Menlo Park), Jesse Gabriel (D-Woodland Hills), Marc Levine (D-Marin County), Sharon Quirk-Silva (D-Fullerton), and Mark Stone (D-Monterey Bay).