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California's 40th District

May 9, 2023 | In The News

Reps. Mike Levin and Young Kim joined forces in an effort to curb gun violence, a rare display of bipartisanship for an issue that can often be contentious and split down party lines.

The pair is working on a bill to provide tax credits for retailers — sellers with a license from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives — that “incentivize the sale of safe storage devices for firearms,” according to Levin’s office, with the goal to prevent shootings involving unsafely stored firearms in the home.

The tax credit would be equal to 10% of the cost of the device with a cap of $40 per device sold. If a device is resold, the credit would not apply, as the bill stands now.

“There is an epidemic of gun violence in this country, and both Democrats and Republicans must come together to enact commonsense reforms to save lives,” Levin said. “This bill is a strong step we can take to reduce unintentional discharges, suicides and school shootings by incentivizing the safe storage of firearms.

An analysis of shootings at K-12 schools in the U.S. from 2008-17 by the Department of Homeland Security found in most cases, the shooter used a firearm that belonged to their parent or close relative. In half of these cases, the firearm was accessible or not adequately secured, the assessment found.

In January, a Virginia grand jury indicted the mother of a 6-year-old boy who shot his teacher during class. She was charged with felony child neglect and a misdemeanor of endangering a child by reckless storage of a firearm.

According to Everytown for Gun Safety, a nonprofit that advocates against gun violence, roughly 4.6 million children live in households with at least one loaded and unlocked firearm, and over 80% of firearm suicides by those under 18 involve a gun belonging to a family member.

Those statistics hit home for Kim.

“As a mother of four and a new grandmother, protecting the safety of our kids, our schools and our communities is personal to me,” Kim said. “Incentivizing the safe storage of guns protects law-abiding citizens’ safe usage of guns while reducing the chance of gun violence, suicide or accidental shootings.”

On Saturday, a gunman killed eight people and wounded seven others in a shooting at a Dallas-area mall before being fatally shot by a police officer who happened to be nearby, authorities said.

The legislation is co-sponsored by Rep. Mike Lawler, R-New York, and Rep. Brendan Boyle, D-Pennsylvania, and has been referred to the Ways and Means Committee.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

The Orange County Register

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