$5 million Awarded to Disarm Felons through Program Championed by Assemblymember Irwin

For immediate release:
Grant Counties

OAKLAND – Today $5 million in state grants were announced, a result of efforts by Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin  and a coalition of over 20 Assemblymembers to secure funding for the Gun Violence Prevention Program in the 2021-2022 Budget Act. California Attorney General Rob Bonta today announced ten county sheriff’s offices will receive funding to support targeted activities in their jurisdictions.

The grant program will support county sheriff’s departments conducting activities related to the seizure of weapons and ammunition from persons who are legally prohibited from possessing them, including efforts based upon entries in the Department of Justice (DOJ)’s Armed Prohibited Persons System (APPS). Reasons to be listed in APPS include felony convictions, domestic violence convictions, domestic violence restraining orders, and gun violence restraining orders. This effort builds upon a prior $3 million in the 2019-2020 budget that went to four pilot counties, including Santa Cruz and Ventura Counties.

“With rising gun violence and headlines seemingly every week about mass shootings, we need to do all we can to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous individuals,” said Assemblymember Irwin.  “We must remember that the victims are more than just statistics and that they are families and friends, as we learned so tragically with the Borderline shooting.  Our four pilot counties have shown good progress in utilizing local law enforcement to get firearms out of the hands of prohibited people in their own communities.  This investment will build on the pilot project and empower more law enforcement agencies across the state to reduce the number of guns in the hands of people who shouldn’t have them.”

Contra Costa, Lake, Los Angeles, Orange, Sacramento, San Francisco, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, and Ventura counties applied for and will receive grant funding through the State’s Gun Violence Reduction Program. The 2021-2022 Budget Act provides that a total of $10 million will be made available in two grant cycles; another $5 million will be awarded by January 1, 2023. DOJ is required to  award a minimum of 10 grants per cycle in amounts between $250,000 and $1 million per applicant, per year.

 “The Ventura County Sheriff’s Office has been able to leverage the initial pilot grant funds from Asm. Irwin to create an advanced software tool that enables every VCSO deputy to contribute to identifying and confiscating firearms from prohibited possessors,” said Sherriff Bill Ayub. “Our deputies are now able identify APPS suspects in the field that have evaded statewide efforts, resulting in dozens of APPS listings being cleared in Ventura County. By expanding funding more counties around the state can follow Ventura’s lead in protecting their own residents, and Ventura can build upon its initial success.”

Applicants from counties with no DOJ-Bureau of Firearms  Field Office were prioritized, as well as applicants with a written plan to reduce the number of APPS listings in their jurisdiction, and counties with a higher number of APPS listings per capita.

Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin represents California’s 44th Assembly District, which includes the communities of Camarillo, El Rio, Moorpark, Oxnard, Port Hueneme, Thousand Oaks, and Westlake Village.

Assemblymember Irwin’s website: http://asmdc.org/irwin