AG Bonta says Oakland should adopt San Diego's gun program: Here's how it would work

ByRyan Curry via KGO logo
Friday, September 23, 2022 5:55PM
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AG Bonta says Oakland should look to San Diego, which implements a state law that issues gun restraining orders for people who may use them for harm.

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- Attorney General Rob Bonta says Oakland should look to its neighboring city in Southern California about how to limit gun violence. San Diego implements a state law that issues gun restraining orders for people who may use them for harm.

"The Oakland city attorney's office can implement that," Attorney General Bonta said. "I think they should. That will help prevent gun violence from happening in the first place."

The way it works in San Diego is someone can approach the city or police department about a person who may be at risk for using a gun to harm themselves or someone else. They would investigate the issue and that person would then have to appear in civil court. A judge can then rule that person to be disallowed from buying or having a gun for at least a year.

RELATED: California AG announces first-in-nation division to prevent gun violence statewide

It is a law passed by the state legislature, but cities need to implement ways to use the law.

"They could address situations where someone is a threat to themselves or to others that guns can be removed," said Therese Hymer, a board member with San Diegans for Gun Violence prevention. "It has made our city safer. There have been times with domestic violence threats, with threats in the workplace. There are a variety of example where violence has been averted through the use of this law."

ABC7 compared data on homicides between the two cities. Through June 2022, Oakland had 54 homicides and San Diego had 30. That is 12.8 homicides per 100,000 people in Oakland and 2.8 per 100,000 people in San Diego.

RELATED: How Oakland is responding to gun violence after the 5th fatal shooting this week

"If they get their hands on guns, they are going to use them," said Dr. Lisa Hill, Professor of Criminal Justice at Cal State East Bay. "Cities need to adopt a zero tolerance policy. That means no gun violence at all."

Oakland has seen five homicides just this week. All of them involved guns. Dr. Hill says two things come to mind when looking at Oakland's violence.

RELATED: 4 homicides in Oakland in less than 24 hours; latest happening outside City Hall

""High emotion, and two much accessibility," she said. "Gun accessibility. When you put those two things together you are going to get weapons violations, you are going to get shootings."

She says Oakland needs to consider measures to get guns off the streets - like what is being used in San Diego.

"The only option is to get guns out of the hands of people who are not mature enough to use them," she said.

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