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SB-1006 Firearm Violence Research Center.(2015-2016)

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Amended  IN  Senate  April 11, 2016
Amended  IN  Senate  March 17, 2016


Senate Bill No. 1006

Introduced by Senator Wolk
(Principal coauthors: Senators De León and Pan)
(Principal coauthors: Assembly Members Dodd and Quirk)
(Coauthors: Senators Allen, Block, Glazer, Hall, Hancock, and Hertzberg)
(Coauthors: Assembly Members Baker, Cooper, Cristina Garcia, Gonzalez, Jones-Sawyer, Levine, McCarty, Santiago, and Ting)

February 10, 2016

An act to add Title 12.2 (commencing with Section 14230) to Part 4 of the Penal Code, relating to firearm violence research.


SB 1006, as amended, Wolk. Firearm Violence Research Center.
Existing law establishes and funds various research centers and programs in conjunction with the University of California.
This bill would enact the California Firearm Violence Research Act. The bill would declare the intent of the Legislature that the Regents of the University of California establish the California Firearm Violence Research Center to research firearm-related violence. The bill would declare legislative intent regarding the principles by which the university would administer the center and award research funds, as prescribed. The bill would require the university to report, on or before December 31, 2017, and every 5 years thereafter, specified information regarding the activities of the center and information pertaining to research grants. The bill would require the center and the grant recipients to provide copies of its their research publications to the Legislature. Legislature and specified agencies. The bill would specify that its provisions would apply to the university only to the extent that the Regents, regents, by resolution, make any of the provisions of the bill applicable to the university.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


 Title 12.2 (commencing with Section 14230) is added to Part 4 of the Penal Code, to read:

TITLE 12.2. California Firearm Violence Research Act

 The Legislature finds and declares the following:
(a) Firearm violence is a significant public health and public safety problem in California and nationwide. Nationally, rates of fatal firearm violence have remained essentially unchanged for more than a decade, as declines in homicide have been offset by increases in suicide.
(b) California has been the site of some of the nation’s most infamous mass shootings, such as those at a McDonald’s in San Ysidro, at Cleveland Elementary School in Stockton, near UC Santa Barbara in Isla Vista, and most recently at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino. Yet public mass shootings account for less than 1 percent of firearm violence. In 2014, there were 2,939 firearm-related deaths in California, including 1,582 suicides, 1,230 homicides, 89 deaths by legal intervention, and 38 unintentional or undetermined deaths. In communities where firearm violence is a frequent occurrence, the very structure of daily life is affected.
(c) Nationwide, the annual societal cost of firearm violence was estimated at two hundred twenty-nine billion dollars ($229,000,000,000) in 2012. A significant share of this burden falls on California. In 2013, the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development noted that government-sponsored insurance programs covered nearly two-thirds of the costs of hospitalizations for firearm assaults in California, and about half one-half of the costs of hospitalizations for unintentional injuries or those resulting from deliberate self-harm.
(d) California has been a leader in responding to this continuing crisis. However, although rates of fatal firearm violence in California are well below average for the 50 states, they are not low enough.
(e) Too little is known about firearm violence and its prevention. This is in substantial part because too little research has been done. The need for more research and more sophisticated research has repeatedly been emphasized. Because there has been so little support for research, only a small number of trained investigators are available.
(f) When confronted by other major health and social problems, California and the nation have mounted effective responses, coupling an expanded research effort with policy reform in the public’s interest. Motor vehicle accidents, cancer, heart disease, and tobacco use are all examples of the benefits of this approach.
(g) Federal funding for firearm violence research through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been virtually eliminated by Congress since 1996, leaving a major gap that must be filled by other sources.

 (a) It is the intent of the Legislature to establish a center for research into firearm-related violence. It is the intent of the Legislature that the center be administered by the University of California pursuant to the following principles:
(1) Interdisciplinary work of the center shall address the following:
(A) The nature of firearm violence, including individual and societal determinants of risk for involvement in firearm violence, whether as a victim or a perpetrator.
(B) The individual, community, and societal consequences of firearm violence.
(C) Prevention and treatment of firearm violence at the individual, community, and societal levels.
(2) The center shall conduct basic, translational, and transformative research with a mission to provide the scientific evidence on which sound firearm violence prevention policies and programs can be based. Its research shall extend to firearm violence as a form of terrorism. include, but not be limited to, the effectiveness of existing laws and policies intended to reduce firearm violence, including the criminal misuse of firearms, and efforts to promote the responsible ownership and use of firearms.
(3) The center shall work on a continuing basis with policymakers in the Legislature and state agencies to identify, implement, and evaluate innovative firearm violence prevention policies and programs.
(4) To help ensure a long-term and successful effort to understand and prevent firearm violence, the center shall recruit and provide specialized training opportunities for new researchers, including experienced investigators in related fields who are beginning work on firearm violence, young investigators who have completed their education, postdoctoral scholars, doctoral students, and undergraduates.
(5) It is the intent of the Legislature to support the center’s activities by funding the center with an appropriation to a Firearm Violence Research Center Account. The center may also seek additional federal, state, and private funds.
(6) As a supplement to its own research, the center shall administer a small grants program for research on firearm violence, funded through a research account in the Firearm Violence Research Center Account. All research funds shall be awarded on the basis of scientific merit as determined by an open, competitive peer review process that assures objectivity, consistency, and high quality. All qualified investigators, regardless of institutional affiliation, shall have equal access and opportunity to compete for the funds in the research account.
(7) The peer review process for the selection of grants awarded under this program shall be modeled on the process used by the National Institutes of Health in its grantmaking process.
(b) It is further the intent of the Legislature that on or before December 31, 2017, and every five years thereafter, the University of California transmit programmatic, as well as financial, reports to the state, including a report on the grants made, pending grants, program accomplishments, and the future direction of the program. The report shall be submitted in compliance with Section 9795 of the Government Code.
(c) Subject to the conditions and requirements established elsewhere in statute, state agencies, including including, but not limited to to, the Department of Justice, the State Department of Public Health, the State Department of Health Care Services, the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development, and the Department of Motor Vehicles, shall provide to the center, upon proper request, the data necessary for the center to conduct its research.
(d) The center and all recipients of grants supported by the research account shall provide copies of their research publications to the Legislature and to agencies supplying data used in the conduct of that research as soon as is practicable following publication. These submissions shall be submitted in compliance with Section 9795 of the Government Code.
(e) Toward these ends, the Legislature requests that the Regents of the University of California establish a Firearm Violence Research Center and administer the center and grant program pursuant to to, and consistent with with, the principles and goals stated herein.

 This article shall apply to the University of California only to the extent that the Regents of the University of California, by resolution, make any of these provisions applicable to the university.