Action Alert: UC Regents Gun Industry Divestment

Action Alert: UC Regents Gun Industry Divestment

In the wake of the tragedy in Isla Vista, California, the University of California Santa Barbara community,, CAGV and others have come together to turn grief into action. Along...

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CAGV Twentieth Anniversary Celebration

CAGV Twentieth Anniversary Celebration

The Coalition Against Gun Violence invites you to celebrate with us as we achieve an important milestone, our 20th Anniversary — twenty years dedicated to educating the community and working...

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CAGV Second Annual Gun BuyBack, Saturday, June 13, 2015

CAGV Second Annual Gun BuyBack, Saturday, June 13, 2015

CAGV’s  2nd Annual Gun Buyback, in coordination with the Santa Barbara Police Department (SBPD), will be held at Earl Warren Showgrounds on Saturday, June 13th from 8 a.m. until noon....

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Mark Your Calendars!  Sunday, May 17, 2015

Mark Your Calendars! Sunday, May 17, 2015


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March 5, 1981 — January 10, 2001
Laura’s Law was named after Laura Wilcox who was shot and killed by a seriously mentally ill person in 2001. Amanda and Nick Wilcox, Laura’s parents, worked to advocate forAssembly Bill 1421 now known as Laura’s Law, which was signed into law by Governor Gray Davis in 2002.

CAGV Supports Laura’s Law for Santa Barbara County

In California there is a lack of support services for families who attempt unsuccessfully to obtain help for a mentally ill family member. This is sometimes due to limited county...

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Gun Industry Divestment Campaign

Gun Industry Divestment Campaign

Please join the Coalition Against Gun Violence (CAGV) in a Campaign to Divest the University of California system of its holdings in the gun manufacturing industry.

In the wake of the May 23, 2014, tragedy in Isla Vista, California, the University of California Santa Barbara community,, and CAGV have come together to turn grief into action. Along with students, faculty and alumni we are demanding action from the University of California: Transparency of its $88 billion endowment and a ban on all future investments in the gun industry.

The UC community deserves to know whether its institution is helping to fund gun violence; and the governing board of the University of California has a moral obligation to take a clear stance against investing in the gun industry that continues to endanger the UC community and the nation.

The Regents of the University of California must stand with UCSB and fight to prevent more senseless tragedy by pledging it will not invest in gun violence.

PLEDGE TO STAND WITH UCSB to demand that UC Regents adopt a gun-free endowment:

• SIGN THE PETITION to tell the University of California Board of Regents to take a clear stance against investing in gun violence:

• LEARN MORE ABOUT DIVESTMENT  & the Campaign to Unload. Start a Campaign in your City or on your Campus:



It Took an Act of Congress to Address Violence Against Women

This year marks the twentieth anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which was a result of extensive grassroots efforts in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The VAWA was drafted by the office of then Senator Joe Biden (D-DE) with support from a broad coalition of advocacy groups. The Act passed Congress with bipartisan support in 1994. After being renewed with little resistance in 2000 and 2005, Congress let the Act expire in 2011. The problems centered around disagreements about expanded protections for gays and lesbians, Native Americans and illegal immigrants. Read More »

Women Under the Gun: Stalking & Gun Violence

Women Under the Gun: Stalking & Gun Violence

Below is an excerpt from a June 2014 report, “How Gun Violence Affects Women and Four Policy Solutions to Better Protect Them,” by Arkadi Gerney and Chelsea Parsons of the Center for American Progress. 

Federal law prohibits a person from possessing a gun if he has committed a felony or if he has committed a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence against a spouse, live-in girlfriend, or woman with whom he has had a child. However, federal law places no restriction on firearm possession by a person who has committed a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence against a dating partner or who has been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of stalking. Yet, as of 2008, more women were killed by dating partners than by spouses. Currently, federal law does not prohibit convicted stalkers or unmarried domestic abusers from buying guns. Furthermore, most states do not require background checks of private firearms sales. Offenders in these states can often avoid background checks by seeking out private sellers. Read More »

Investigator Lance Badger from the Santa Rosa police department shows an AK 47 assault style weapon (left) and Andy Lopez's toy replica gun (right) at a press conference at the community center in Santa Rosa, California, on Wednesday, October 23, 2013. Photo: Liz Hafalia, The Chronicle

Imitation Gun Leads To Child’s Death

Editor’s Note: Last year, a Northern California deputy sheriff shot and killed a 13-year-old boy carrying a pellet gun. The officer will face no charges, because the gun looked realistic and he felt himself under threat. Tragedies like this happen all too often, as you will read below. [Image: Investigator Lance Badger from the Santa Rosa police department shows an AK 47 assault style weapon (left) and Andy Lopez's toy replica gun (right) at a press conference at the community center in Santa Rosa, California, on Wednesday, October 23, 2013. Photo: Liz Hafalia, The Chronicle]

October 2013. Santa Rosa, California – Andy Lopez, a 13-year-old boy was fatally shot by a sheriff’s deputy because the toy gun he was holding looked real. Toy guns are supposed to be differentiated by a bright orange plug at the end of the barrel. However, the tip on Lopez’s gun broke off when he dropped the gun. This is why these guns should not be made to look anything like the real guns. A small orange plug is simply not enough.

This eighth-grade boy, wearing a hooded sweatshirt, was walking near his home when Deputy Gelhaus and his partner spotted the boy from their patrol car carrying what appeared to be an AK-47. The deputies stopped their car and ordered Andy to drop the gun, but as the youth turned toward the officers, Gelhaus saw the rifle barrel rise upward and he fired eight shots at the boy, according to police accounts. The gun turned out to be an imitation AK-47 capable of shooting pellets or BBs. The orange tip of the barrel designed to distinguish the replica from a real gun had been broken off.

Northern California prosecutors will not bring criminal charges against the deputy who shot and killed a 13-year-old boy who was carrying a plastic replica of an assault rifle that the officer mistook for a real gun. The Sonoma County District Attorney’s Office concluded that deputy Erick Gelhaus “honestly and reasonably” believed he faced an imminent of threat of death or serious bodily harm to himself or others when he shot the youth. Protests were held in response to the officer being set free, however, the root of the problem is the toy itself. Without the existence of toy guns that look real that boy would not have been killed.

Andy’s “weapon” was only a pellet gun, capable of causing no more harm than a few stings.   Yet there are questions that must be asked: why are such weapons called toy guns or imitation guns. And why do parents buy toys with a potential for harm of any sort, even though they don’t envision this sort of tragedy.

A bill introduced by California State Senator Kevin de Leon since Lopez’s death would require BB and air guns to be more clearly marked as toys. Distinguishing features throughout, such as brightly colored plastic, are required for other toy guns. However, that California law requirement does not currently apply to BB and air guns.

CALIFORNIA: Ban Toy Guns That Look Like the Real Thing! PETITION HERE

Andy’s parents bought their 13-year old son an “imitation” gun, which resulted in his death. Below is a story that didn’t end in a violent tragedy, but did involve “imitation” guns, this time with third graders.

Coastal View News: “Imitation Guns Lead to Scares at Local School”

July 3, 2014. Carpinteria, Santa Barbara County, California —Three third-grade boys have been referred for expulsion. One boy allegedly brought an airsoft gun to school as requested by another boy. Other students saw the gun on campus. One of the third graders shot two boys in the legs while they were walking off-campus after school. Two weeks later, another third-grade boy had a pellet gun in his backpack and was reported by four students to whom he showed the gun in class. On his walk home he allegedly aimed it at other children who fled and told their parents who called the school.

The above local newspaper report elicited the following letter to the editor by Toni Wellen, Chair of CAGV:

TO PARENTS BUYING IMITATION GUNS: Airsoft guns and BB guns are not toys. Non-powder guns, BB, air and pellet guns are inherently dangerous weapons that can inflict potentially severe or lethal injuries, particularly on children.

Parents read these statistics: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have compiled national data on non-powder gun injuries that illustrate the inherent danger of these weapons. Between 2001 and 2011, non-powder guns injured 209,981 people nationwide, including 145,423 children age 19 or younger.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, BB guns and pellet rifles cause an average of four deaths per year.

A New York Times investigation, “In recent years, dozens of police officers in Texas, California, Maryland, Florida and elsewhere have shot children and adults armed with what they believed were handguns but that were determined later to be BB guns or other types of air pistols.”

If an Airsoft gun is used in committing a crime, the law makes no difference between replicas and real firearms. If you chose to threaten someone with anything that resembles a gun, you will be punished and risk being shot by law enforcement.

Schools are supposed to be safe havens. Historically they have been. However in the 18 months since Sandy Hook there have been 74 school shootings. Schools and parents are on edge and rightly so. What are your children experiencing emotionally during a lock down drill?

The fact that these students aimed and shot their guns, demonstrates their knowledge that this “toy” could harm. Santa Barbara County Schools have a zero tolerance policy regarding guns on campus. Parents need to consider a zero policy regarding buying a so-called toy that encourages aggressive behavior and can cause harm because the person ultimately responsible is the parent and not the child

Gun Buyback a  Huge Success!

Gun Buyback a Huge Success!

HUGE SUCCESS AT THE FIRST-EVER SANTA BARBARA GUN BUYBACK EVENT AT EARL WARREN SHOWGROUNDS: as the sponsoring organization Coalition Against Gun Violence (CAGV), A Santa Barbara County Coalition in collaboration with the City of Santa Barbara Police Department can be thanked for their successful efforts in collecting 239 GUNS TURNED IN! & FOR TAKING SIGNIFICANT PREVENTATIVE GUN VIOLENCE ACTION TO HELP MAKE SANTA BARBARA A SAFER PLACE TO LIVE! COLLECTED TODAY: 108 handguns • 84 rifles • 41 shotguns • 6 assault weapons • Per CAGV, over $23,000 worth of gift cards given out! this is truly a significant contribution toward improving the safety of our community … !

Links to press about the event:

See our Facebook Page for more information.




Pediatricians Take on the NRA

Pediatricians Take on the NRA

PEDIATRICSvsNRA2(Excerpted in part from The Daily Beast May 15, 2014.)

“The NRA and the AAP have been embroiled in a very public legal feud over the rights of doctors to talk with parents about gun safety.”

For the past three decades, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) – with 62,000 members – has been an outspoken voice on the issue of gun control. In 1992, the AAP issued its first policy statement supporting a handgun and assault weapons ban, making it the first public health organization to do so, and it has long recommended that doctors talk about gun safety with parents. Since the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December 2012, the AAP has stepped up attempts to educate parents about gun safety around children. Read More »

Violence Policy Center Follows the Money Names the Names

Violence Policy Center (VPC) 2013 report, “Blood Money: How Gun Industry Dollars Fund the NRA,” reveals exactly who bankrolls the National Rifle Association (NRA).

Faced with an ongoing decline in household gun ownership, the NRA has thrown its weight behind its gun industry benefactors. At their May 2013 annual meeting in Houston, Texas, the highest donors were honored by rising to the Golden Ring of Freedom giving-level. The current group, comprised of 10 companies and individuals, had contributed more than a million dollars and were given the ability to ring the ‘Freedom’ bell. Read More »

19th Annual Luncheon Breaks All Records

19th Annual Luncheon Breaks All Records

CAGV’s 19th Annual Luncheon was a successful celebration and completely sold out with a waiting list. The Santa Barbara Club provided a delicious luncheon with perfect service. The Silent Auction, beautifully staged, was a resounding success and we were entertained by a terrific band, the Dos Pueblos High School Combo Black Cadillac (band photo below). Read More »