August 28, 2018
Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr.
California State Capitol, Suite 1173
Sacramento, CA 95814
RE: AB 1903 (Gonzalez Fletcher) Firearms: buyback programs: gift cards
AAP-CA Position: Support
Dear Governor Brown,
The American Academy of Pediatrics, California (AAP-CA), representing over 5,000 California pediatricians statewide, supports legislation AB 1903 (Gonzalez Fletcher), to prohibit gun buyback programs from distributing gift cards to retailers with a firearm dealer license in exchange for the voluntary return of a firearm by a private individual.
Law enforcement agencies utilize firearm buyback programs to remove guns from the streets. As incentive for gun owners voluntarily returning firearms, they issue cash, gift cards, vouchers, and pre-paid credit cards. By handing out gift cards to retailers that sell firearms and ammunition (such as Walmart – the largest retailer of firearms in the country), individuals may be able to return older firearms in exchange for gift cards that can be used to purchase a newer firearm. This defeats the purpose of the firearm buyback programs to remove guns from the streets.
The Centers for Disease Control reports that in 2016, 4,927 children and youth age birth to 21 years died from firearm injuries, and another 21,764 were non-fatally injured. Firearm-related homicide and suicide are second only to motor vehicle crashes as the leading cause of death among teens and young adults. AAP policy states that to ensure the safety of children, “pediatricians should continue to advocate for the strongest possible legislative and regulatory approaches to prevent firearm injuries and deaths.”
AB 1903 (Gonzalez Fletcher) would prohibit government agencies from providing a gift card from a retailer that holds a firearms dealer’s license in exchange for a firearm from a private individual. By restricting the use of gift cards from gun retailers, we can prevent individuals from essentially trading-up to the newest firearms on the market.
Pediatrician members of AAP California Chapters 1, 2, 3 and 4 statewide respectfully request you to sign AB 1903 (Gonzalez Fletcher) into law. Thank you for your public service and leadership on behalf of the health and well-being of children, youth, and families in California.
Melissa Ruiz, M.D., Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics
Executive Board Member, American Academy of Pediatrics, California
cc: AAP-CA Leadership; Lobbyist Lydia Bourne