2019 California Code
Penal Code - PEN
PART 6 - CONTROL OF DEADLY WEAPONS
TITLE 4 - FIREARMS
DIVISION 2 - FIREARM SAFETY DEVICES, GUN SAFES, AND RELATED WARNINGS
The Legislature makes the following findings:
(a) In the years 1987 to 1996, nearly 2,200 children in the United States under the age of 15 years died in unintentional shootings. In 1996 alone, 138 children were shot and killed unintentionally. Thus, more than 11 children every month, or one child every three days, were shot or killed unintentionally in firearms-related incidents.
(b) The United States leads the industrialized world in the rates of children and youth lost to unintentional, firearms-related deaths. A 1997 study from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveals that for unintentional firearm-related deaths for children under the age of 15, the rate in the United States was nine times higher than in 25 other industrialized countries combined.
(c) While the number of unintentional deaths from firearms is an unacceptable toll on America’s children, nearly eight times that number are treated in U.S. hospital emergency rooms each year for nonfatal unintentional gunshot wounds.
(d) A study of unintentional firearm deaths among children in California found that unintentional gunshot wounds most often involve handguns.
(e) A study in the December 1995 issue of the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine found that children as young as three years old are strong enough to fire most commercially available handguns. The study revealed that 25 percent of three to four year olds and 70 percent of five to six year olds had sufficient finger strength to fire 59 (92 percent) of the 64 commonly available handguns referenced in the study.
(f) The Government Accounting Office (GAO), in its March 1991 study, “Accidental Shootings: Many Deaths and Injuries Caused by Firearms Could be Prevented,” estimates that 31 percent of accidental deaths caused by firearms might be prevented by the addition of two safety devices: a child-resistant safety device that automatically engages and a device that indicates whether the gun is loaded. According to the study results, of the 107 unintentional firearms-related fatalities the GAO examined for the calendar years 1988 and 1989, 8 percent could have been prevented had the firearm been equipped with a child-resistant safety device. This 8 percent represents instances in which children under the age of six unintentionally shot and killed themselves or other persons.
(g) Currently, firearms are the only products manufactured in the United States that are not subject to minimum safety standards.
(h) A 1997 public opinion poll conducted by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago in conjunction with the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research found that 74 percent of Americans support safety regulation of the firearms industry.
(i) Some currently available trigger locks and other similar devices are inadequate to prevent the accidental discharge of the firearms to which they are attached, or to prevent children from gaining access to the firearm.
(Added by Stats. 2010, Ch. 711, Sec. 6. (SB 1080) Effective January 1, 2011. Operative January 1, 2012, by Sec. 10 of Ch. 711.)