On August 15, California Attorney General Rob Bonta released the first-ever data report from the Office of Gun Violence Prevention (OGVP). The report summarizes gun violence data in California and throughout the U.S. and has the potential to guide policy and strategy discussions related to reducing gun violence.

No mean feat

Releasing the report is a pretty big deal, even for a state like California, which prides itself on common-sense gun legislation.

After all, it was only a year ago, in September 2022, that AG Bonta established the OGVP with the mission of reducing and preventing gun violence, firearm injury and related trauma. The OGVP supports the California Department of Justice in gun-violence reduction efforts by:

• promoting research and data collection

• increasing awareness about effective legal and policy strategies

• collaborating with federal, state and local partners

Favorable data points

From the press release, here are data points that will reassure you when you watch the nightly news and wonder whether your and our work is paying off or not:

• Over the last 30 years, California has reduced its gun violence rate from 50% above average among the rest of the United States to 33% below average.

• Between 2006 and 2022, California’s gun-homicide rate among youths fell by 50%. Over that same time horizon, those rates rose by 23% in Florida and 48% in Texas.

• Between 2015 and 2021, the number of unserialized firearms (ghost guns) recovered as crime guns in California jumped from 26 to over 12,000. Mercifully, from 2021 to 2022 the number decreased by 7%.  Thank heaven for small favors – not to mention enforcement actions, affirmative litigation and legislation.

AG Bonta’s office points out that “if the firearm mortality rate in the rest of the United States had matched California’s between 2013 and 2022, there would have been nearly 140,000 fewer firearm-related deaths nationwide in that decade alone.” (emphasis theirs)

That’s a lot of people who would still be alive. It’s a lot more people who would not have had to grieve them. And it’s a lot of time that family and friends could have spent attending their graduations, birthday parties and weddings. Instead of wishing they were still alive.

Find out more

Take a look at the complete data report. You’ll find additional information and data on gun violence in California including:

• Additional comparisons of California and national data

• Analysis of Gun Violence Injuries in California by intent, lethality, and county

• Analysis of gun violence factors, disparities, and recent challenges

• Domestic violence and firearms

• Data on mass shootings

• Strategies for breaking the cycle of violence

Have a look also at the Mandated Crime Guns in CA Report, with exhaustive details about firearms in California: who sells them, who manufactures them, who isn’t serializing them, and where (city/county) they’re being used in crimes.

Not every state in the union publishes this kind of data. (In most states, it’s prohibited.) Phone the attorney general’s office at (916) 210-6000 and let them know that gun-violence prevention is important to you.

And tell your friends in other states.

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