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New Excise Tax on Guns Clears Final Policy Committee in the California Legislature

For immediate release:


SACRAMENTO, CA — Yesterday, legislation that would impose a new excise tax on firearm manufacturers, firearm dealers, and ammunition vendors in the state of California passed out of the Senate Public Safety Committee, clearing its final policy committee. The proceeds from these taxes would be directed towards efforts to better protect Californians from mass shootings and gun violence, including enhanced school safety measures as well as violence intervention and prevention programs. Authored by Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel (D - Encino), Chair of the Legislature's Gun Violence Prevention Working Group, Assembly Bill (AB) 28 has now been approved by all relevant policy committees and is one step closer to Governor Newsom’s desk.

“It’s shameful that gun manufacturers are reaping record profits at the same time that gun violence has become the leading cause of death for kids in the United States,” said Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel. “This bill will fund critical school safety measures and proven violence prevention programs that will save lives and protect communities across California.”

The tax, which is estimated to raise over $160 million annually, will generate funds for the California Violence Intervention and Prevention Grant Program (commonly known as CalVIP) as well as programs and initiatives to improve school safety, bolster firearm investigations, remove guns from domestic abusers and other prohibited persons, and provide trauma-informed services for victims of gun violence, among others.

“This bill is a transformative approach in tackling gun violence and a crucial step to improve the safety of all California families,” said Renia Webb, a volunteer with the California chapter of Moms Demand Action. “We are grateful for our gun sense champions and community partners who worked so hard to pass this comprehensive bill that seeks to make our communities safer and target the root causes of gun violence. We urge the Senate to do the same so we can prevent senseless acts of gun violence from tearing our communities apart."

“This is a time of crisis and challenges—with surging gun sales and violence nationwide—and also opportunity and progress as California leaders continue to lead the way on gun safety reform that is driven by evidence and real impact,” said Mike McLively, Policy Director for Giffords. “Assemblymember Gabriel has been a consistently strong champion working to make California safer for all who call it home. We look forward to continuing to work with him to strengthen California's investment in violence prevention programs, strengthen protections for survivors of domestic violence, and get California back on the path of expanded safety and opportunity for all.”

Since AB 28 was introduced at the beginning of the current legislative session, the United States has experienced hundreds of mass shootings, including horrific incidents in Monterey Park and Half Moon Bay. The surge in gun violence comes as firearm purchases rose to record levels in 2020 and 2021, with more than 43 million guns estimated to have been purchased. At the same time, gun manufacturers have reaped record-breaking profits, boasting that the growth they have experienced in recent years has been “nothing short of remarkable.

AB 28 is expected to be considered in the Senate Appropriations Committee in August following the Legislature’s summer recess.