County gun safety reform initiative fails after Board of Supervisors vote

County gun safety reform initiative fails after Board of Supervisors vote

SAN DIEGO — Despite cries from family members who have lost loved ones to gun violence, the San Diego County Board of Supervisors failed to pass a local reform initiative that would have expanded safe storage recommendations.

The 2-2 vote, which would have approved short-term actions under the “Gun Violence Reduction Work Plan,” fell along party lines. Supervisors Jim Desmond and Joel Anderson were the two “no” votes.

Among the actions it would have implemented, the initiative would have allowed manufacturers of ghost guns to be held accountable, as well as provide education surrounding how to safely store guns with specific attention to different scenarios like playdates.

“Working with the school district to send out educational materials (and) have trainings for parents about how you store a gun safely,” Board of Supervisors Vice Chair Terra Lawson-Remer explained about the educational aspect of the proposal.

“Another recommendation,” she continued, “was looking at how do you educate parents about having that difficult conversation when you’re setting up a playdate about what the gun storage looks like in the home.”

Commenting before the vote, Supervisor Desmond said the rationale for his vote against the initiate was because it didn’t adequately address the issue of mental health.

After the vote, however, family members impacted by gun violence, joined local safety advocates and Lawson-Remer to speak out against the board’s failure to pass the initiative.

“The two Republicans on this board voted down common sense action on gun safety and continue to put the kids in our community in the lives of our children in harm’s way,” Lawson-Remer said to FOX 5 after the vote. 

“After 45,000 people a year die due to gun violence in this country, that the (suggestion) to bring that number down is more guns … are you kidding me?” said Sam Schwartz, the cousin of one of the students killed in the Parkland school shooting.

Schwartz joined the parents of Joaquin Oliver, another student who was murdered in the 2018 shooting, outside the County Administration Building to rally against gun violence and in support of common sense gun regulation.

Oliver’s parents, Manuel and Patricia, have been traveling by bus across the county in support of this issue and founded the advocacy organization, Change The Ref, to raise awareness about mass shootings after their son was murdered.

“If you could create the most perfect human being, that is my son, but I like to say, my son is an activist and not a victim,” Manuel said. “Sadly, The Gun Violence Prevention Advisory committee did not pass (the Work Plan), but this is not an excuse to stop.”  

“For me this is really personal,” Lawson-Remer said. “I have an almost 4 year old and you just think ‘God, that could be any kid.’ Our kids are dying because our gun lobby and our gun manufacturers are so greedy and so profit hungry they put their profits over the lives of children.” 

Those present at the rally, like San Diego Unified School District Board student advocate Lea Nepomuceno, called on the younger generation to continue advocating for gun safety measures, saying “I call upon young people to join us in the movement here in San Diego contribute to safer communities.”

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