Attorney General Bonta Urges Court to Uphold Prohibitions of Firearms on Public Transit | State of California – Department of Justice

OAKLAND California Attorney General Rob Bonta, as part of a coalition of 15 attorneys general, announced today the filing of an amicus brief in support of the District of Columbia and state authority to regulate firearms on public transportation and protect communities that lack access to safe public transportation Looking for. In the brief, the coalition claims that states have the power to enact regulations that protect public health and welfare based on community needs. Denying states the ability to regulate firearms on public transportation would not only disrupt the operation of public transportation systems, but would profoundly endanger people’s lives. In particular, Attorney General Bonta emphasizes the great risk to children and vulnerable communities using public transport.

“What the data tells us is clear: more guns in more places leads to more violence,” said Attorney General Bonta. “Children and families have the right to feel safe and be safe when they go to school or work, and they deserve to have access to the services they need without the presence of dangerous weapons. Allowing firearms on our public transport creates a significant and unnecessary risk. There have been too many tragedies as a result of gun violence – it is time to end this public health crisis.”

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Attorney General Bonta is asking the US District Court for the District of Columbia to uphold the District of Columbia’s sane constitutional law prohibiting public transportation license holders from carrying handguns on DC’s Metrorail transit system. In the brief, the attorneys general explain that the powers of the states and the District of Columbia to implement these bans are particularly important because public transportation is a key means of commuting to work, getting children to and from school, and people with disabilities Disabilities can fully participate in their communities.

The United States has the world’s largest mass transit system, serving tens of millions of passengers on an average weekday. This transportation infrastructure helps workers access more job opportunities while providing employers with a larger pool of potential workers.

In addition, many students in California use public transportation to get to school every day. Some school districts, including the Los Angeles Unified School District, the largest school district in the state and the second-largest in the nation, provide daily bus service to the general student body through free public transit tickets.

Access to transport can be an essential part of inclusion and participation in the community. The increased potential for gun violence threatens the ability of public transit systems to perform these critical functions.

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In the brief, the states are asking the court to uphold the District of Columbia’s ban and the state’s ability to regulate firearms on public transportation because:

  • Firearms are a particular hazard on public transportwhich is often overcrowded, increases the risk of injury from stray bullets and accidental shots, and invites a deadly escalation of conflict.
  • The risks are particularly great for the many drivers who are members of vulnerable groups This includes children, people with disabilities and the elderly who often rely on public transport.
  • The Second Amendment allows states to implement different regulations tailored to local needs to protect the health, safety and well-being of their residents, including how public transport is operated safely and safely.
  • The proposed regulation is consistent with public safety measures being implemented across the country through federal, state, local government and public transportation statutes that ban firearms in sensitive locations. Federal law consistently prohibits the carrying of firearms in some sensitive locations, such as post offices, parts of airports, and airplanes. Most states ban firearms in other sensitive locations. California, for example, bans firearms in schools and entertainment venues. Montana and North Dakota prohibit firearms in protected areas. Florida and Kentucky ban guns in bars.
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Gun violence remains a growing threat to public safety across the country. On average, there are over 110 gun deaths every day and nearly 41,000 a year in the United States. Firearms are the leading cause of death among children and adolescents; with US children more likely to die from gun violence than any other comparable country.

California continues its efforts to advance laws and policies that save lives and prevent firearm fatalities. In 2021, California had a 37% lower gun death rate than the national average. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the death rate from firearms was the sixth-lowest nationwide at 8.5 deaths per 100,000 people — compared to 13.7 deaths per 100,000 domestically, 28.6 in Mississippi, 20.7 in Oklahoma and 14.2 in Texas. The child death rate from guns in California is also lower than other states and is 58% below the national average.

Attorney General Bonta stands with partners across the state to continue to strategically and aggressively address gun violence by:

A copy of the briefing is available here.