SAN FRANCISCO—San Francisco Mayor Mark Farrell and Adult Probation Chief Karen Fletcher revealed on March 20 new efforts to confiscate firearms from individuals convicted of felonies and violent misdemeanors, made possible by the passage of Proposition 63.
“When we keep weapons out of the hands of felons, we make our communities safer for all San Franciscans,” said Mayor Farrell. “We cannot allow these criminals to continue to have access to weapons. Gun violence is a tragic epidemic in our city, state and country, but we are taking meaningful steps in San Francisco to remove firearms from the most dangerous individuals in our society.”
The voter-approved initiative that went into effect on January 1, Proposition 63 provides a process for confiscating firearms from persons who have been convicted of a felony or a violent misdemeanor, such as assault or battery. The passing of the proposition, has increased the number of caseloads for the Adult Probation Department (APD), that is responsible for enforcing Proposition 63.
According to a press release from the Mayor’s Office, the APD has seen as many as 50 cases a week related to Proposition 63; more than a 60 percent increase from original projections. The city of San Francisco has approved $800,000 in additional funding to support the increased workload.
Proposition 63 requires courts to notify individuals prohibited from owning a firearm that they must turn their gun over to local law enforcement officials, sell it to a licensed dealer or give it to a dealer for storage. The APD is responsible for investigating these cases to make sure felons are complying with the state law.
“Proposition 63 was passed as an historic and unprecedented step forward for gun safety in California,” said Karen Fletcher. “Critical to that mission is to safely remove illegal guns from our communities by requiring that felony offenders and those who pose a danger to others relinquish their firearms upon conviction. The Adult Probation Department is committed to working with the Superior Court and our local partners to ensure guns are not in the hands of those people expressly prohibited from having them. Working together locally, we can ensure that San Francisco successfully implements this measure to help build a safer community.”
Of the five positions funded by the budget expansion, four will be Deputy Probation Officers at the APD. The fifth position will be a Supervising Probation Officer.
“Guns should not be in the hands of violent offenders – period,” said Supervisor Catherine Stefani. “I have worked on common sense gun reform for nearly two decades, and Proposition 63 is one more important tool to protect our residents from the threat of gun violence.”
“The increase in staffing to confiscate guns from those who should not have them will reduce gun violence and gun related deaths,” said Supervisor Jeff Sheehy. “It’s a no brainer and I am happy to support the Mayor’s and Adult Probation Department’s efforts.”