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Assemblymember Irwin Secures State Funding for Crucial Gun Violence Prevention Programs and Ventura County Victims

For immediate release:

SACRAMENTO – Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin (D-Thousand Oaks) announced that funding for two of her priorities have made it into the final California State Budget. The State Legislature approved the funding earlier today and the Governor has until July 1st to sign or veto the State Budget.

  • $10 Million in Funding for Gun Violence Prevention Grant Program to remove weapons from dangerous individuals. The purpose of the grant program is to provide support to county sheriff’s departments conducting activities related to the seizure of weapons and ammunition from persons who are prohibited from possessing them, including efforts based upon entries in the Department of Justice’s Armed Prohibited Persons System (APPS). This builds upon $3 million in the 2019-2020 budget that went to 4 pilot counties, including Ventura County.

“With rising gun violence and weekly headlines of mass shootings we need to do all we can to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous individuals.  We must remember that the victims are more than just statistics and that they are families and friends, as we learned so tragically with the Borderline shooting.  Our four pilot counties have shown good progress in utilizing local law enforcement to get firearms out of the hands of dangerous people in their own communities.  This investment will build on the pilot project and empower more law enforcement agencies across the state to reduce the number of guns in the hands of people who shouldn’t have them,” said Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin.

The grants would be distributed on a competitive basis by the Bureau of State and Community Corrections (BSCC) to counties with no DOJ-BOF Field Office. The BSCC would be required to prioritize counties with a written plan to reduce the number of APPS listings in their jurisdiction, and counties with a higher number of APPS listings per capita.

“The Ventura County Sheriff’s Office has been able to leverage the initial pilot grant funds from Asm. Irwin to create an advanced software tool that enables every VCSO deputy to contribute to identifying and confiscating firearms from prohibited possessors,” said Sherriff Bill Ayub. “Our deputies are now able identify APPS suspects in the field that have evaded statewide efforts, resulting in dozens of APPS listings being cleared in Ventura County. By expanding funding more counties around the state can follow Ventura’s lead in protecting their own residents, and Ventura can build upon its initial success.”

  • $1 Million in Funding for the Ventura County Family Justice Center - Oxnard Satellite Pilot Project. The Oxnard Satellite Center would serve to improve access to justice for underserved victims in Ventura County. The center will be a resource to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse, elder abuse, and human trafficking.

“The Ventura County Family Justice Center is a model for the state and this investment will allow the County to expand its services closer to communities in need,” said Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin. “I am happy that the state, through this investment, is recognizing the crucial role the Center plays in bringing justice to underserved communities in our County.”

Residents of the city of Oxnard represent roughly 33% of the overall victims served at the Family Justice Center located in the city of Ventura in its first year, which is by far greater than any other city in Ventura County. The satellite center will bring the FJC’s critical services closer to home for so many of those individuals and families who need them, thereby improving their access to justice.

“The Family Justice Center has been remarkably effective since it opened in March of 2019, helping nearly 4,000 victims by connecting them to services provided by over 35 partnering agencies,” said District Attorney Erik Nasarenko. “By funding our expansion to Oxnard, Asm. Irwin will be opening doors to under-represented victims to get the services and support they deserve.”

“The expansion of the Family Justice Center into Oxnard is an opportunity to focus on outreach and serve the indigenous population such as Mixtecos, farmworker, and Spanish-speaking victim community,” said Arcenio Lopez of the Mixteco Indigena Community Organizing Project (MICOP). “We applaud the efforts by Assemblymember Irwin to reduce barriers to services for our community.”

Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin represents California’s 44th Assembly District, which includes the communities of Camarillo, El Rio, Moorpark, Oxnard, Port Hueneme, Thousand Oaks, and Westlake Village.