State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson has authored a bill to restrict gun ownership among people with certain alcohol offenses, such as for multiple DUI convictions and vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated. The UC Davis Violence Prevention Research Program found that persons convicted of the offenses had a higher propensity for future gun violence. Jackson’s legislation adds alcohol-related nonviolent offenses to others that lead to gun restrictions — such as certain violent misdemeanors (assault with firearm, corporal injury on a spouse), felony conviction, and narcotic addition — currently on the books. Her Senate Bill 55 passed the Senate Public Safety Committee on March 26 and goes next to the Appropriations Committee.
The study Jackson’s bill is based upon was authored by Dr. Garen J. Wintemute, a professor of emergency medicine at UC Davis Medical Center, and four members of the Research Program. Published in 2017 in PubMed.gov, “Firearms, alcohol and crime” examined the history of more than 4,000 people who’d bought a handgun in 1977. Through to 1991, 32 percent with a prior alcohol-related conviction and 5 percent of those without had been arrested for a violent or gun-related crime. The four- to five-fold increase in gun or violence arrests associated with alcohol was found to be greater than factors of age, sex, or history of prior violence.