Rep. Carbajal reintroduces gun safety legislation to encourage states to implement red-flag laws

May 27, 2021

Central Coast Democratic Congressman Salud Carbajal announced new gun safety legislation that provides federal grants and resources to states that follow California’s lead in implementing red-flag laws.

His bill is called the Extreme Risk Protection Order Act of 2021.

Carbajal introduced the legislation at a press conference May 25, closely following the 7th anniversary of the 2014 Isla Vista shooting where six people were killed and 14 others were injured.

California passed a red-flag law following the shooting.

Red-flag laws allow family members and law enforcement officials to petition a judge to prevent an individual in crisis from purchasing a firearm. It can also temporarily remove firearms from that individual.

Congressman Carbajal said the goal of the bill is to prevent more gun violence by supporting those red-flag laws in other states.

“In the Isla Vista Shooting, the gunman had shown signs that he was going to commit violence. In the weeks and months leading up to the massacre, the gunman’s mother warned local law enforcement about his desire to kill those around him,” Carbajal said. “Despite that disturbing behavior, his family and law enforcement were powerless to keep a gun out of his hands.”

Kendall Pata is the local group co-lead for Moms Demand Action in Santa Barbara. The group is a national grassroots advocacy organization fighting for gun safety measures.

Pata spoke at the press conference in support of the bill.

“Only 19 states have these extreme risk laws and it’s not enough. It’s beyond time that congress acts,” Pata said.

Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley also spoke in support of the bill.

“I firmly believe, as a person who’s been in the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office for 31 years, if California had this law back in 2014, hundreds of lives would not have been destroyed,” Dudley said.

KCBX News contacted the National Rifle Association (NRA) for comment on this bill, but has not yet received a response.

Opponents of red-flag laws, like the NRA, cite the 2nd amendment, saying the regulations are unconstitutional. Many also claim the laws violate due process.

Congressman Carbajal said he always expects to see pushback from gun lobbyists as he works to pass gun safety legislation. But he said he’s hopeful the bill will pass with bipartisan support.

He said he’s had backing from the current and previous presidential administrations, gun owners and law enforcement agencies.