Lawmakers and community leaders gathered Monday morning at Monterey Park City Hall to call for support for legislation aimed at reducing guns on the streets, the L.A. Times reports. The event comes months after a mass shooting on Lunar New Year’s Eve in the city claimed the lives of 11 people.
The lawmakers are urging the passage of three state bills, namely AB 732, AB 733, and AB 1638. These bills were introduced earlier this year by Assemblymember Mike Fong (D-Alhambra), whose jurisdiction encompasses Monterey Park. At present, all three bills are under consideration in Sacramento committees.
“With shootings happening almost daily at schools, grocery stores, churches and dance studios, we can’t rely on heroes to stop the endless scourge of gun violence plaguing our country,” said Assemblymember Mike Fong. “Lawmakers are the ones who have the power to end this plague, and I’m proud to take leadership on this effort to help get weapons off our streets. I look forward to working in partnership with the Prosecutors Alliance of California and gun safety advocates to pass these measures.”
AB 732 would increase the roles of the court, probation, and prosecuting attorneys to ensure that guns are relinquished during a conviction, meaning that the court won’t be able to close a case until the firearm has been handed over. The bill would also require someone to be designated to receive updates on armed prohibited people in their area and to report to the California Department of Justice their efforts to get those firearms relinquished. AB 733 would prohibit local and state agencies from selling firearms, firearm parts, body armor, and ammunition.
AB 1638 would require that the local agency provide information in the other language spoken by that population.
“If guns made us safer, we’d already be the safest country on the planet,” Prosecutors Alliance Executive Director Cristine Soto Deberry said at the news conference in support of the legislation. “In this nation, we have more guns than people, but we do not have safety.”
“Monterey Park, in light of the recent tragedies, has been transformed,” said Monterey Park Mayor Jose Sanchez at the conference. “And that has become, today, an agent of change. The change our community wishes to see is a society that is free of gun violence.”