CA legislators propose new bills cracking down on crime amid recent mass shootings, deputy deaths

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Rob McMillan | ABC7

Several new bills aimed at cracking down on crime in California were announced Monday.

The new bills will target suspects involved in crimes across the state including thefts and violent shootings. Videos of people committing crimes have been released on social media a number of times this year and politicians said those videos are proof that crime is on the rise.

“It cannot be denied that crime is out of control in California,” said James Gallagher, who represents the 3rd Assembly District in northern Sacramento Valley. “We are seeing an increase in petty thefts and retail thefts, but also in violent assaults.”

At a news conference in Sacramento on Monday, a group of Republicans as well as law enforcement officials, including several from Southern California, announced the bills.

One would increase the penalties for serial thieves and another would reinstate a mandatory 20-year minimum sentence for anyone convicted of using a firearm during a violent crime.

“Elected leaders care more about releasing criminals than protecting victims,” said Assemblyman Bill Essayli. “This is wrong, it’s unethical, and frankly, immoral.”

Elected leaders pointed to the recent mass shootings across the state, also referencing the recent killings of two Riverside County sheriff’s deputies.

“Our Riverside County sheriff’s office had not suffered a line of duty death in two decades, and then we lost two deputies within two weeks. That is not acceptable,” Essayli said.

Eyewitness News used our ABC7 neighborhood safety tracker to take a closer look at the state’s Department of Justice data for the five counties in our viewing area.

Overall, violent crime rose just about 2% between 2017 and 2021. The homicide rate soared, jumping about 40% in the same period.

“Crime is out of control in California and we are here with representatives from our law enforcement community to send one simple message that everyone, no matter where they live or who they are, deserve to feel safe in their community,” Gallagher said.

The future of this Republican-sponsored legislation is unclear as Democrats hold the supermajorities in both houses of the state legislature.

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