A California state assembly committee gave its stamp of approval on April 27 to legislation that would significantly soften sentences for people convicted of some firearm offenses, with proponents saying laws against using guns in the commission of crimes disproportionately affect people of color.
The Assembly Public Safety Committee voted 6-2 to approve the Anti-Racism Sentencing Reform Act, though the proposal still has several hurdles to clear before becoming law.
Assemblyman Alex Lee’s office said he agreed to co-sponsor the bill “to correct decades of harm done to communities of color.” Staffers recently created a “fact sheet” that argues imposing stiffer sentencing laws added on to the charge of an underlying offense drives up incarceration rates, crowds prisons, and serves as “a legal monument to racism.”
Eric Siddall, vice president of the Association of Deputy District Attorneys of Los Angeles County (ADDA), said the proposal “is devoid of reality,” saying such a reduction would equate to “an inconsequential sentence.”
“In essence, the bill decriminalizes the use of a firearm in California for the most severe, most violent felonies,” Siddall told The Daily Wire. “What this bill would do is encourage violent criminals to use guns during their crime because the penalty is so insignificant.”