Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara, on Friday announced that Richard Martinez will be her guest at Tuesday’s State of the Union Address.
Martinez is a constituent and the father of Christopher Ross Michaels-Martinez, one of the UCSB students who was shot and killed during the Isla Vista tragedy in May 2014.
Coinciding with the State of the Union address, Capps will also reintroduce the Pause for Safety Act, her legislation to improve laws to reduce gun violence. Capps originally introduced the bill in the 113th Congress following the Isla Vista rampage.
“It has been nearly eight months since the Isla Vista community — and the nation — was rocked by the unspeakable violence in I.V.,” Capps said. “And the State of the Union is an important time to highlight that we will not let this issue fade without action. Mr. Martinez has dedicated his life to making sure that not one more family has to endure the pain he has. I will continue to work with him and my Congressional colleagues to push forward on Pause for Safety and other important measure to make our communities safer.”
“This past May, I vowed to honor the life of my son, Christopher Ross Michaels-Martinez, by fighting for gun safety measures that will help save lives,” Martinez said. “Legislators like Congresswoman Capps and others from around the country have helped me to fulfill this promise and I’m grateful for the opportunity to attend the State of the Union as her guest. While in Washington on Tuesday, I’ll continue to urge legislators from both sides of the aisle to support common-sense gun laws — as we have seen statehouses do around the country — that will help save lives.”
The Pause for Safety Act would encourage states to empower families and others with new tools to prevent a tragedy if someone they are close to poses a threat to themselves or others. Specifically, the bill would promote policies that allow family members to go to a court to seek a “gun violence prevention order” to temporarily stop someone who poses a threat to themselves or others from purchasing or possessing a gun.
The bill would also ensure that a court could issue a “gun violence prevention warrant,” allowing law enforcement to step in if the court determines the individual poses a threat to themselves or others. Finally, the bill would ensure that law enforcement can make full use of all existing state and local gun databases when investigating a warning or request from a family member. States that adopt these preventative measures would be eligible to receive federal funding under a new grant program to help pay for the measures.
Last year, a similar bill was signed into law in California.
— Chris Meagher is a press secretary for Rep. Lois Capps.