Firearms and Assault Weapons

Adopted July 1990 – Revised April 2018 – Health & Community Concerns Commission

California State PTA has a long history and proud tradition of supporting legislation and programs for the safety and protection of children, youth, and families. School safety is a critical priority for all parents, educators, students and community members. We must make every attempt to reduce violence, especially incidents that involve firearms.

California State PTA recognizes the importance of a safe learning environment in attaining the highest level of students learning and achievement. California State PTA believes the most effective day-to-day school climate to be gun-free, but defers to local collaborative decision-making to allow for the presence of law enforcement deployed in community-oriented policing.

California State PTA supports state and federal legislation and restrictions that protect children and youth from gun violence and would:

  • Require a firearm licensure procedure that includes a minimum 3-day waiting period and background check to screen out illegal firearm purchasers such as convicted felons and drug-related offenders;
  • Require a firearm licensing procedure that includes proof of passing a state-certified course in appropriate firearms use and safe handling practice;
  • Restrict internet gun sales, including kits that can be used to make/modify guns;
  • Enforce federal and state minimum age requirements for gun purchases;
  • Require safety devices, including childproof trigger locks, on all firearms offered for sale, delivery or transfer;
  • Prohibit sale and possession of assault weapons for non-military/non-law enforcement use and require a registration process for those persons who now legally own such firearms;
  • Prohibit for non-military/non-law enforcement purposes, the manufacture, importation, possession, sale or resale of accessories and ammunition designed for assault weapons;
  • Ban the manufacture, sale or possession of “junk guns”/Saturday night specials;
  • Ban armor-piercing ammunition;
  • Control the illegal possession of firearms and other lethal weapons on school campuses;
  • Support state and federal funding initiatives for the research of the causes and effects of gun violence.

California State PTA believes we must enact legislation that will reduce gun violence and help protect children and youth. California State PTA further supports:

  • Education programs that stress the importance of firearm safety and awareness, including the risks of unsecured firearms in the home, and the use and availability of firearm safety devices, including trigger locks;
  • Education programs to inform parents and community members about the harm and injury gun violence inflicts on children and youth;
  • Public awareness campaigns regarding the importance of legislation for the safety and protection of the public, especially children and youth.


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