California Assembly Republican Caucus
“Guns are bad, unless you commit a violent crime with one” is an interesting message.
SACRAMENTO – Today, ahead of National Gun Violence Prevention Day, Democrats sided with violent criminals by refusing to back harsher penalties for committing a crime with a gun. An amendment, offered by Asm. Bill Essayli (R-Corona), would have allowed judges to impose a sentencing enhancement for using a gun in the course of committing violent crime. Democrats unanimously voted against the effort.
“California is not lacking gun laws. What we’re missing is sufficient deterrence and enforcement of our laws,” said Essayli. “My amendment today would have restored accountability to ensure appropriate punishment for those who use guns to hurt others. When it comes to reducing gun violence, Democrats are all talk, and following today’s vote they’re on the record protecting criminals who use guns. Today’s vote shows that Democrats are on the wrong side of the gun violence debate.”
Under a 2021 law, courts are required to dismiss sentencing enhancements, including for gun crimes, in many circumstances, such as if the enhancement would result in a sentence of more than 20 years, if the offense was connected to mental illness or childhood trauma, or if there are multiple enhancements alleged.
Essayli’s amendment would recognize the serious nature of gun crimes and exempt them from the prohibition on enhancements.