We all have the right to live in safe and secure communities. It is my duty as your Congressman to promote policies that curb gun violence, support our first responders, address issues in our criminal justice system, and be an advocate for a practical approach to drug policy.
This past year our nation witnessed a succession of gun-related acts of violence – shootings in environments we frequent every day. We all have the right to feel safe in our movie theaters, centers of worship, and especially, our schools. What is clear from these horrific events is that we cannot afford to do nothing and we cannot accept these tragedies as routine. California has some of the strictest gun laws in the nation, including a ban on semi-automatic rifles, but without a federal assault weapons ban, which expired eight years ago, there are loopholes that make it relatively easy to obtain military style assault weapons in spite of strong state gun control laws. I believe that we need to reinstate permanently the federal assault weapons ban as well as a ban on large capacity ammunition magazines. I also support expanding the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), established by the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, to ensure that only law abiding individuals are allowed to purchase guns. We have a responsibility to protect our children, which is why I also support mandating child safety locks on handguns to prevent accidental deaths.
First Responders require our continued commitment and support to overcome the threats posed by terrorism, natural disasters, and other emergencies. Police, Firefighters, and Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) risk their lives every day so we can all remain healthy and secure in our homes, schools, and public places. I am committed to making sure the First Responders of the Inland Empire have the support they need to purchase vehicles and equipment, hire and train new staff, and educate the public about how to stay safe. In Congress, I will support full funding for programs like Staffing for Adequate Fire & Emergency Response (SAFER) and Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) grants that provide funding to local communities.
Criminal Justice Reform
California has one of the largest prison populations in the United States, which has led to more funding going to incarcerate criminals than to teach our children. We must reform our priorities and do more, especially in California, to reduce our recidivism rate and support the successful reintegration of ex-offenders into society. The Federal government spends billions of dollars annually on funding our prisons and I believe there are a few simple reforms, like expanding the use of probation for low-level offenders and reexamining sentencing laws for drug offenders, that can reduce the cost of our prison systems, while maintaining public safety.
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