Bills in the California State Legislature
Public Safety / Criminal Justice Bills
AB 3: Firearms: transfers (Bonta) and SB 1100: Firearms: transfers (Portantino)
Currently, the age at which a person can own a firearm is 18 years, unless it is a handgun, in which case the age is 21 years. This bill would extend this common-sense restriction to the sale of all firearms.
Firearms are all instruments designed to kill, regardless of their classification as handguns or not. Gun are all a danger to society when they fall into the wrong hands, and it is appropriate to apply these common-sense regulations to all guns, not just handgun, since they all today have the capability of inflicting deadly harm on anything or anyone who their owner decides to point it at.
AB 1903: Firearms: buyback programs: gift cards (Gonzalez Fletcher)
This bill would prohibit local authorities from issuing gift cards to firearms or ammunition dealers as part of a voluntary gun buyback program.
We support this bill because it closes a considerable loophole in policy around gun buybacks: the intent of gun buybacks is to get more guns and weaponry off the streets in an effort to address part of this country’s gun violence epidemic, and this bill would make sure that such programs do not simply allow more guns to return back into circulation.
AB 1927: Firearms: prohibition: voluntary list (Bonta)
This bill would provide for the California Department of Justice to explore options to provide for individuals to voluntarily place themselves on California’s list of persons prohibited from owning a firearm.
We support this bill because we believe that gun safety is extremely important. AB 1927, in opening the possibility of allowing individuals to register themselves to a list which prohibits them from owning firearms, furthers the goal of increased gun safety. If an individual does not deem themselves fit to own a firearm, they should be unable to own a firearm.
AB 1968: Mental health: firearms (Low)
This bill would extend the current five year prohibition on a person having been taken into custody for being a danger to him- or herself or others as the result of mental illness, after being released from such custody, to a lifetime prohibition.
We support this bill because we believe that individuals posing a potential danger to themselves or others should be unable to own such deadly weapons as firearms. AB 1968 would provide that those who have been admitted to a corresponding facility because the state determines them to be “a danger to himself, herself, or others, as a result of a mental health disorder” could not own a firearm. BAStA believes this bill to be a logical step in the right direction towards gun reform, as it disallows harmful individuals, as identified by the state, from owning deadly weaponry.
AB 2103: Firearms: license to carry concealed (Gloria)
This bill would require a minimum, in addition to the current maximum, duration for the firearm training courses that individuals must complete before they can be issued with a license to carry a concealed firearm (issuance of which is at the discretion of local law enforcement authorities).
We support this bill because requiring a minimum of eight hours of training in firearm safety and firearm laws, on subjects that would henceforth be codified into law instead of left up to local law enforcement agencies, is the least that must be asked of law enforcement if they choose to issue licenses to carry concealed firearms in our communities. This is a heavy responsibility, and must be strictly overseen to make sure individuals do not perceive the conferral of this responsibility as an invitation to take the law into their own hands.
AB 2222: Crime prevention and investigation: informational databases (Quirk)
This bill would extend requirements for police and sheriffs’ departments to report their stolen, lost, found, recovered property to the California Department of Justice (DOJ) to all law enforcement agencies in the state, along with other reporting requirements for recovered guns that are illegally possessed or have been used in a crime. These reports would have to be made within 3 days of the event.
There is currently no comprehensive set of data to track gun trafficking and other misuse or illegal transfer of firearms, since only police and sheriffs’ departments are required to enter their information into the DOJ’s database, creating a void in the state’s ability to protect its residents.
AB 2382: Firearms: firearm precursor parts (Gipson)
This bill would provide that gun dealers treat "firearm precursor parts", or the parts you can use to make or supplement firearms, in a similar fashion to the way they treat ammunition. More generally, it would regulate the sale of firearm precursor parts so as to better monitor and guide their use.
The parts one can use to make or supplement firearms should be regulated to the same standards that are firearms. If an individual is outlawed from purchasing a gun, it follows that they should be outlawed from purchasing the parts with which to make a gun. Many perpetrators of mass shootings make modifications to their weapons, and this bill would help to limit the access of such individuals to what they seem to think of as toys.
AB 2526: Temporary emergency gun violence restraining orders (Rubio)
This bill would make amendments to California’s Gun Violence Restraining Order (GVRO) law, switching the default for law enforcement seeking a GVRO to an oral request, making provisions for a written request instead only in time and circumstances permit.
We support this bill because GVROs are frequently sought under time pressure, and this bill would clarify that oral requests for GVROs are regular. GVROs are a necessarily key tool to get firearms out of the hands of those who would use them to inflict harm on themselves or others.
AB 2888: Gun violence restraining orders (Ting)
Currently, the immediate family members of a person at serious risk of inflicting harm against himself or others with a gun, or a law enforcement officer, may seek a gun violence restraining order (GVRO) against that person. This bill would expand the potential use of the gun violence restraining order to that person’s employer, coworker, mental health worker, and secondary and/or post-secondary school teacher.
We support this bill because we believe that allowing more people, including employers and coworkers who might know a person better than their family, to request GVROs on a potentially hazardous individual results in a higher chance that such dangerous individuals are prohibited from possessing deadly weapons.
AB 2781: Forensic ballistic and firearms procedures (Low)
This bill would require law enforcement agencies to obtain and transmit to the National Integrated Ballistic Identification Network (NIBIN) ballistic images of firearms and cartridge cases obtained by such agency.
We support this bill because the analytical technology used by NIBIN is, where used by law enforcement, a very useful tool to track firearms used in crimes and solve violent cases, because the evidence of unique markings left by guns on cartridge cases can be used to link shootings with one another, enabling faster processing of these violent crimes.
AB 3129: Firearms: prohibited persons (Rubio)
This bill would extend the prohibition on domestic violence misdemeanants owning firearms from 10 years to forever.
As students, we know the fear that we feel whenever we hear of yet another school shooting, or whenever our school organizes a lockdown drill, knowing that it could be our school next. That fear is not right. Neither should people who have suffered from domestic abuse have that fear, knowing that someday, the person who abused them will be legally allowed to own a gun.
SB 221: Agricultural District 1-A: firearm and ammunition sales at the Cow Palace (Wiener)
This bill would prohibit the sale of firearms and ammunition at the Cow Palace in Daly City, one of the few instances left near San Francisco where it is possible to buy a gun.
We support this bill because, as students, and as citizens of this country, we are unilaterally opposed to the celebration of America’s deeply disturbing gun culture as exemplified by these gun shows. Allowing gun shows to be held at the Cow Palace runs against the policies pursued by the surrounding communities that aim to minimize access to weapons that can easily be used to inflict death and destruction on those very communities.
SB 1177: Firearms: transfers (Portantino)
A companion bill to SB 1100 (Portantino), this bill would similarly extend the one handgun per thirty days limitation on purchases to all firearms, another common sense restriction on the sale of these dangerous weapons.
Handguns and “long-guns” are differentiated by their dimensions and their layouts; they are not differentiated by the fundamental characteristic that exists for all firearms: their lethal power. Therefore, we gladly support this move to regularize California’s restrictions across all gun sales.
SB 1185: Firearms: law enforcement agencies: agency firearm accounting (Hill)*
This bill would increase law enforcement accountability on their handling of firearms, to prevent the latter from falling into the hands of potentially dangerous people.
We support this bill because it would require law enforcement agencies to adopt written procedures for keeping track of their firearms, and to promptly report lost, stolen, or disposed of firearms as such into the AFS. This would make sure that law enforcement agencies can fulfill their responsibility to their communities of protecting them and making sure deadly weapons do not end up in the hands of ill-meaning people.
*Note: This bill was held in the Senate Appropriations Committee at the suspense file hearing on May 25, 2018, thereby missing the legislative deadline to pass out of the fiscal committee in the house of origin. This bill is therefore effectively dead for this session.
SB 1200: Gun violence restraining orders (Skinner)
This bill addresses several limitations of current law around gun violence restraining orders (GVROs), notably by removing the financial hurdle to obtaining a GVRO for low-income family members who know of a person’s threats or intent to inflict harm on himself or others with a gun, a common sense provision given that gun violence disproportionately affects low-income households. This bill also allows a GVRO to be sought against person fully capable of building a gun: the perpetrators of many mass shootings have frequently displayed an obsession with firearms, making amateur modifications to their weapons.
SB 1281: Juvenile Records (Stern)
This bill would strengthen background checks and help law enforcement keep guns out of the wrong hands. Currently, it is illegal for someone who committed certain offenses, including serious or violent felonies, as a juvenile to own or possess a firearm until age 30. However, because juvenile records are sealed and destroyed at the conclusion of the case, it is impossible to enforce this prohibition.
We support this bill because it would close this loophole that allows individuals prohibited from owning a gun to possess a gun, because it prohibits the destruction of specified juvenile records until the individual reaches the age of 33 (while not allowing the educational, career, or financial opportunities of the individual to be compromised), because it enables better background checks by law enforcement on individuals restricted from legal gun ownership or possession prior to age 30, and because it improves enforcement of current laws designed to prevent gun violence.
SB 1346: Firearms: multiburst trigger activators (Jackson)
This bill would include bump fire stocks in the definition of “multiburst trigger activator”, a term that encompasses all devices which increase the rate and therefore the raw deadliness of a semi-automatic weapon.
Bump fire stocks, which make using recoil to fire shots in succession easier, are instruments to make deadly weapons even deadlier, and unnecessarily endangering the general public, while providing no reasonable advantage in the recreational use of the gun. The perpetrator of the October 1, 2017 shooting in Las Vegas, the deadliest mass shooting in the history of this country, used a bump-stock to turn his semi-automatic gun into a functionally automatic one—most perpetrators of mass shootings are obsessed with guns, and make modifications to increase their lethal power.
SB 1421: Peace officers: release of records (Skinner)
This bill would require certain peace officer records to be made public, pertaining to complaints and internal investigations.
Gun violence is inextricably linked to instances of police brutality. The public is supposed to be able to trust peace officers—the hint is in the name—and yet the bias certain members of the latter have displayed against communities of color has broken that trust. The people have a right to know the extent and scope of actions that are being taken by those who are tasked with protecting their communities, especially when such “protection” amounts to an attack on their humanity. Family members and friends have a right to pursue justice for their loved ones lost to the deviance of “peace” officers from the task set to them by their ultimate employer: the people themselves.
AB 1747: School safety plans (Rodriguez)
This bill would require school jurisdictions to establish more stringent and extensive school safety plans, notably to include provisions for active shooter drills.
We support this bill because, while there are existing provisions in state law for the development and implementation of school safety plans at their schools, given the cost of conducting analyses and developing adequate procedures for active shooter incidents, many schools do not follow through. As students, we want to know that our schools can most effectively protect us from the dangers of the next school shooting, much as we dread its occurrence, by being at least prepared for that all too unfortunately likely scenario.
AB 2109: Pupils: pupils with a temporary disability: individual instruction: pupils who are terminally ill: honorary diplomas (O’Donnell)
Currently, unclear statutes have led to confusion with respect to the enrollment of seriously ill students: some are dis-enrolled from their school district while attending school in hospital, while those who do remain enrolled in their school district are sometimes marked as absent in that district. This bill would fix that.
BAStA believes in equity among students no matter the condition of their health. Under existing law, students who become hospitalized might not be able to return to their education in a timely fashion because of certain restrictions. This bill both speeds up the process for hospitalized individuals, allows for home instruction, and increases the flow of information about the law to parents.
AB 2121: Pupil instruction: coursework and graduation requirements: currently and formerly migratory children and newly arrived immigrant pupils (Caballero)
Currently, certain groups of highly mobile students, such as students in foster care, those who are homeless, students who transfer from juvenile court schools, and students from military families, are exempt from certain requirements concerning local graduation requirements and acceptance of partial credit.
Current law requires school districts to accept certain circumstances in the cases of underprivileged students, and BAStA believes that extending those requirements to the cases of migrant children is just. Migrant students will be able to better succeed in their education if they are better accommodated.
AB 2153: Teachers: in-service training: lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning pupil resources (Thurmond)
This bill would require school districts, county offices of education, and charter schools to conduct in-service training with all teachers in grades 7 through 12 and to other certified employees at that school on the topic of supporting LGBTQ students.
We support this bill because, while the State of California is already a stronghold and standard-bearer of LGBTQ rights in this country, LGBTQ students still suffer from disadvantages, stigma, and internal questioning engendered by their status as a minority. This bill would make sure that teachers, who are frequently among the most important figures in disadvantaged students’ support systems, are provided with the adequate resources to support their LGBTQ students who are victims of harassment and bullying. Schools should be a haven for all students, a place dedicated to learning: this bill would ensure that it is such.
AB 2289: Pupil rights: pregnant and parenting pupils (Weber)
This bill would guarantee pregnant and parenting students 8 weeks of parental leave and to an excused absence to care for a sick child, without doctor’s note.
We support this bill because all students deserve to be treated equally and fairly in the realization of their academic potential: not only do pregnant and parenting students deserve to be accommodated to enable them to continue to succeed in their academic pursuits, but no undue burden should be imposed on them that would lead to the disadvantaging of either the student or such student’s child or children. As engaged students, we place an extremely important value in the equity of opportunity among our academic peers, and we hope that all students can be recognized as worthy of the attention they need to succeed in the education that will determine many of their life-choices.
AB 2291: School safety: bullying (Chiu)
Currently, schools are encouraged to include policies and procedures dealing with bullying prevention in their safety plans. This bill would make that mandatory. The California Department of Education (CDE) currently must also develop an online training module to assist educators, parents, and students as to the dynamics of bullying in all its forms. This bill would provide that that module be posted on the CDE’s website.
Students who are bullied are often unable to perform at their maximum capacity at school, as they may attend classes in fear. Implementing online training to help community members understand the dynamics of bullying can help to prevent the problem. When bullying is reduced, students are better able to focus and succeed.
AB 2514: Pupil instruction: dual language programs: grant program (Thurmond)
This bill would issue a minimum of 10 grants of up to $300,000 to school districts, consortia of schools districts and other entities, and consortia of charter schools, as part of a Pathways to Success Grant Program to provide intensive dual-language programs to students in preschool through grade 12.
We support this bill because we at BAStA believe in the many benefits of bilingual education, both for the individual receiving it, and for society at large. Countless studies since the 1960s have shown that bilingual children and individuals in general are more intellectually active and successful.  Bilingual education should be an opportunity for all students in California: one successful instance of bilingual education taking hold is SFUSD, which the San Francisco Chronicle reported in 2014 as having over 5,000 students in SFUSD enrolled in dual-immersion programs, starting in kindergarten.  This grant program would help to implement these programs elsewhere, further opening access for California students to a well-rounded, bilingual education.
 Peal, E., & Lambert, W. E. (1962). The relation of bilingualism to intelligence. Psychological Monographs: General and Applied, 76(27), 1-23. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/h0093840 .
Alladi, S., Bak, T. H., Duggirala, V., Surampudi, B., Shailaja, M., Shukla, A. K., Chaudhuri J. R., & Kaul, S. (2013). Bilingualism delays age at onset of dementia, independent of education and immigration status. https://doi.org/10.1212/01.wnl.0000436620.33155.a4 .
 Tucker, Jill, “S.F. seen as model in bilingual education over English only”, https://www.sfgate.com/education/article/S-F-seen-as-model-in-bilingual-education-over-5229826.php .
AB 2601: Pupil instruction: sexual health education: charter schools (Weber)
This bill would include charter schools in the definition of school district in the California Healthy Youth Act, therefore mandating that they ensure that their students receive comprehensive education in sexual health and HIV prevention.
We support this bill because we firmly stand by the need to make sure that students are adequately and accurately informed of the facts and dynamics regarding sexual health and HIV prevention. This has been shown to ensure that students are less likely to engage in dangerous sexual behavior, notably by promoting the use of condoms and contraceptives among sexually active youth. We consider accurate sexual education to be a right, because it provides information that is needed to make sure that students can be sexually responsible and have control of their bodies, while helping to address the negative psychological effects of sexual harassment, particularly as directed at teenage girls and non-binary and non-heteronormative persons.
AB 2657: Pupil discipline: restraint and seclusion (Weber)
This bill would allow for the use of behavioral restraints only in cases where a student’s behavior presents an imminent danger to the themself or others. It would establish prohibitions on behavioral restraints and seclusion in all other situations, and establish procedures for debriefing and collecting data after a use of such restraint or seclusion.
Current law is not specific enough to really provide adequate procedures and guidance on restraints and seclusion of students. We support this bill because it will allow for a much greater accountability when such seclusion and restraint are used, and in doing so will help to allow for more equity in the treatment of minority pupils, who are much more likely to be the subject of unwarranted restraint or seclusion.
AB 3043: Pupil nutrition: breakfast and lunch programs (Berman)
This bill would increase spending for school meals, increase grants for school breakfasts, require schools that provide universal school breakfast to agree to cover costs above the amount received in federal assistance, and require the California Department of Education (CDE) to maintain its standards and guidelines for adequate nutrition.
When hungry, it is difficult for students to focus and thus learn effectively at school. Hunger also disproportionately affects low income households and students, meaning that students can be disproportionately educated. BAStA supports the success of all students, no matter their socioeconomic class, therefore we support this bill.
SB 830: Pupil instruction: media literacy: model curriculum (Dodd)
This bill would require the Instructional Quality Commission to formulate, by January 1, 2023, subject to approval by the State Board of Education, a model curriculum in media literacy.
We support this bill because, in today’s world of social media, fake news, and misrepresentation of factual evidence for political gain, it is essential that students, such as ourselves, have the adequate tools to discern what is true from what is false in the barrage of media that we consume every day. This enables us to properly make decisions that will affect our standing in society going forward.