SACRAMENTO, CA (September 20, 2017) — Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) is asking Governor Jerry Brown to veto Senate Bill 536, a measure which provides unequal access to data for the purpose of researching Gun Violence Restraining Orders (GVRO).
SB 536, by Senator Richard Pan (D - Sacramento), requires the Department of Justice (DOJ) to make information relating to GVROs that is maintained in the California Restraining and Protective Order System or any similar database available to researchers affiliated with the University of California Firearm Violence Research Center. It does not, however, require DOJ to make the same data available to other organizations for the purpose of research.
“While we do appreciate a passing thought given to others whose research may benefit from this data, to state that such access is ‘…at the discretion of the department…’ places all other requestors at a significant disadvantage,” said Craig DeLuz, Spokesman for Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC).
“This allows the DOJ to pick favorites with sensitive data that is needed to hold the research center accountable.
The Gun Violence Research Center at UC Davis was created in 2016 by legislation that amounted to a sole source contract with Dr. Garen Wintemute, a gun control advocate who has been producing anti-gun research for decades. Under SB 536 that same biased researcher will have unfettered access to key research data, while others will be required to get special approval from DOJ.
“This measure ensures that only those that are ideological similar are going to have access to the data that supports this publicly funded research,” notes DeLuz. “If public data, collected by public employees, using public tax dollars to study a public policy is to be made available to anyone, it should be public.”
SB 536 is now on the desk of Governor Jerry Brown, awaiting his signature or veto.
Firearms Policy Coalition (www.firearmspolicy.org) is a 501(c)4 grassroots nonprofit organization. FPC’s mission is to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, especially the fundamental, individual Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.