Documented by Rachel Youdelman
WHAT HAPPENED: The Fresno County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday voted to oppose an effort by the California governor for a new “Right to Safety” Constitutional amendment limiting sales and purchases of firearms in the United States.
The so-called “Right to Safety” amendment, introduced last month in the California legislature, would raise the minimum purchase age from 18 to 21, require universal background checks and waiting periods and ban assault rifles for civilians across the board.
In a statement after the proposal was introduced in August, Gov. Gavin Newsom said the changes proposed under the amendment would reduce gun violence “while leaving the Second Amendment intact.”
However, Fresno County supervisors characterized Newsom’s effort as a politically-motivated gun grab.
“Further,” the supervisors say in their Sept. 5 letter to Newsom, “there is no conclusive data or irrefutable study that shows restricting firearm ownership to the age of 21 will have any negligible impact on reducing violent gun crime or minimizing the occurrence of mass shootings.”
Supervisor Nathan Magsig said he believed the aim was to “reduce Second Amendment rights.” Supervisor Steve Brandau called the effort “very ludicrous” and said it wouldn’t work anyway.
Brandau said the letter would show Newsom that people value the Second Amendment “even in his own state.”
The board voted 4-0 on Tuesday to send the letter to Newsom. Supervisor Sal Quintero abstained from voting. He also was the only supervisor who did not sign the opposition letter.
Quintero said he wanted more information about the proposal before weighing in. He said Newsom’s efforts would be “a tough one” to pass on the national stage.
National Suicide Prevention Month: The Fresno County supervisors on Tuesday also declared September to be National Suicide Prevention month. From 2010 to 2019, the rate of teenage firearm suicides increased 59%, and firearms account for over half of deaths from suicide in the U.S.
Up next: The Fresno County Board of Supervisors will reconvene for the county budget hearings on Sept. 11.