California Attorney General Rob Bonta unveiled his Department of Justice’s new Office of Gun Violence Prevention, a first-in-the-nation unit that the attorney general says is dedicated to responding to the epidemic of gun violence, the Sacramento Bee reports. Bonta, a gubernatorial appointee who is running for a full four-year term in November, announced a nationwide search for the office’s first director. The office will examine factors such as firearm availability and effective resources for crisis prevention, in order to reduce the harm caused by firearms.
Though California has some of the nation’s strongest gun control laws, and also a relatively low gun death count, in 2020 more than 3,400 Californians died from gun violence, according to Giffords Law Center Cutilletta. Establishing an Office of Gun Violence Prevention appears to be a family project for the Bontas. The attorney general’s wife, Assemblywoman Mia Bonta, introduced a bill that would have created such an office. She noted that gun violence has hit home close to the Capitol, with a mass shooting happening a few blocks away this year.