The newly formed California Department of Justice’s Office of Gun Violence Prevention (OGVP) released a first-of-its-kind Gun Violence Prevention Data Report Tuesday, state Attorney General Rob Bonta announced. 

According to the OGVP, the report helps highlight the policies that are working and where more work is needed.  

There are more than 116 gun deaths per day across the United States, but on Tuesday, AG Bonta said his office is working to bring that number down.  

“We chose to change the trajectory of where we’ve been and to end the gun violence epidemic,” said Bonta, alongside local leaders outside Homeboy Industries.

Formed in September of last year, the OGVP’s new data-driven report shows that California’s homicide rate is 33% below the rest of the country.  

“If the national gun death rate matched California’s gun death rate over the last ten years, nearly 140,000 Americans who have died from gun violence would still be with us today,” Bonta said.  

The report claims that gun violence among people 25 and younger has dropped significantly in California versus other large states. In 2022, California’s youth homicide rate was 3.3 per 100,000 residents, a number that is nearly half the rate of Texas and Florida.  

“It is a direct result of nation-leading common-sense data-driven gun laws and prevention policies that are intentional,” Bonta said.  

Although the attorney general touts the state’s efforts as a success, he did highlight some of the challenges California faces.  

For instance, OGVP data from 2021 found that 50.4% of firearms recovered by law enforcement in California were traced back to out-of-state dealers.  

Guns collected during a buy back event are seen in a photo released by the Long Beach Police Department on June 12, 2023.
Guns collected during a buyback event are seen in a photo released by the Long Beach Police Department on June 12, 2023.

Where ghost guns are concerned, there has been an increase in un-serialized firearms used in crimes nationwide. However, California has been able to reduce the number of ghost guns recovered.  

The report also highlights the need to protect communities of color that are disproportionately impacted by gun violence.  

OGVP is slated to host a gun violence prevention webinar at 10 a.m. on Wednesday to discuss the report further.