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Portantino Joins in White House Gun Safety Initiative

State Sen. Anthony Portantino, who represents Burbank, participated last week in the White House’s “Safer States” initiative to discuss California’s gun safety policies. The “Safer States Convening” was organized by the White House Office of Gun Violence Prevention to discuss gun safety policy accomplishments from the 2024 legislative session and the advancement of the “Safer States” agenda.

This was the second time that Portantino, a nationally recognized leader on gun safety laws, has been asked to participate in the “Safer States Convening.” Portantino had the opportunity to discuss Senate Bill 53, the strictest safe gun storage bill in the country, with state legislators from around the country.

“I was honored to have received an invite from the White House to help make our country safer from gun violence,” Portantino said. “[Last week’s] discussion was an important step forward towards promoting gun safety policies on the local and national level. This is the first presidential administration to have an Office of Gun Violence Prevention and watching it continue to make a positive difference for residents across the country is needed and exciting to be part of.”

In 2019, Portantino was the author of SB 172, California’s landmark child access prevention and firearm safe storage laws. The bill enacted a slate of significant provisions related to firearms storage by broadening criminal storage crimes, adding criminal storage offenses to those offenses that can trigger a 10-year firearm ban, and creating an exemption to firearm loan requirements for the purposes of preventing suicide.

This year, Portantino was the author of SB 53, which will make Californians safer by expanding existing firearm safe storage laws. The measure prohibits a person from keeping or storing a firearm in a residence unless the firearm is stored in a Department of Justice-approved locked box or safe. A violation of this prohibition is an infraction for the first offense and a misdemeanor for the second and subsequent offenses; violators face a one-year ban on the purchase or possession of a firearm.

Portantino also championed SB 906 in 2022, which required local educational agencies to annually provide information to parents or guardians about California’s child access prevention laws and laws relating to the safe storage of firearms.

“As the surgeon general’s report clearly stated, gun violence in America is a public health epidemic — one that takes the lives of over 100 people every day,” said Tanya Schardt, senior counsel and director, state and federal policy, Brady. “We at Brady applaud Sen. Portantino, and all of the other gun violence prevention champions who have fought tirelessly for essential lifesaving legislation in their states.”

Firearms are the No. 1 cause of death for children in the United States. States that have safe storage laws have seen a 78% drop in unintentional shootings committed by children compared with states that do not have safe storage laws. Additionally, firearms are the most lethal method used in suicide deaths, with a fatality rate of approximately 90%. 

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