(SACRAMENTO) – Mayors from across California today called for the California Legislature to move AB 18 by Assemblymember Marc Levine (D – Marin County) before the adjournment of the Legislature next month.
Mayor Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft of Alameda, Mayor Jesse Arreguin of Berkeley, Mayor Libby Schaaf of Oakland, Mayor Tom Butt of Richmond, Mayor London Breed of San Francisco and Mayor Sam Liccardo of San Jose joined the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence and the California Chapters of the Brady Campaign in announcing their support for AB 18 and demanding action to prevent future acts of gun terror.
“Local and State leaders do not have the luxury of just offering "thoughts and prayers" while gun violence tears communities apart,” said San Jose Mayor Liccardo. “Without meaningful congressional action, we can’t end gun violence — but we’re going to stop paying for it. I’m grateful for Assemblymember Levine’s leadership in pushing for impactful State action to reduce the public cost of gun violence, and look forward to our continued collaboration to combat this epidemic in the months ahead.”
AB 18 (Levine) would impose a statewide excise tax of $25 on the sale of handguns and semiautomatic rifles sold in California. Additional planned amendments will add an excise tax to bullets sold in the Golden State, with revenues directed to fund California Violence Intervention and Prevention Grant Program (CalVIP). CalVIP supports violence intervention and prevention activities, with preference given to programs that have been shown to be the most effective at reducing violence and to applicants in cities or regions disproportionately affected by violence.
“The latest mass shootings across our country are only the most recent reminder of the failure of our elected officials to address the epidemic of gun violence in our county,” said San Francisco Mayor London Breed. “Since the federal government seems incapable of taking action, we must do what we can locally and statewide to keep our residents safe. This proposal, which would raise millions of dollars to fund violence prevention programs in our communities, is a step in the right direction.”
“Gun violence traumatizes our communities long after the bullets have been fired,” Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf said. “I support Assemblymember Levine’s AB 18 because it funds violence prevention programs like Ceasefire that are proven to reduce gun violence and it gives young men and women the support they deserve and need. AB 18 gives all of our residents, and all of our families, a chance to live in a safe, healthy, and vibrant community.”
Levine’s AB 18 was approved by the Assembly Public Safety Committee and the Assembly Revenue and Taxation Committee earlier this year. Co-authored by seven legislators from throughout California, AB 18’s firearm and bullet tax would create a stable, ongoing revenue stream to support successful programs designed to reduce gun violence in communities throughout the state.
“California’s mayors work on the front lines every day to keep our communities safe,” said Assemblymember Levine. “The Legislature and the Governor should listen to their call for action to prevent gun violence. AB 18’s $25 tax on firearms is a small amount for gun owners to pay to stem the tragic violence guns inflict on innocent Californians and will create a permanent and desperately needed funding source to reduce gun violence in our state. With only weeks until the Legislature adjourns for the year, the time for action is now.”
AB 18 (Levine) is currently pending action in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.