Katie Hill on Gun Violence Prevention and the Borderline Shooting

The night after I was elected to represent the 25th Congressional District, a shooting that left twelve people dead, several from my district, took place at Borderline Bar and Grill. This happened at the same time that flames engulfed Simi Valley from two separate wildfires. In the chaos of that morning, I did an interview and in the piece, a partial quote was used that misrepresented my firm stance on taking immediate steps to prevent every act of gun violence in our community. Let me be clear: you can count on me to advocate for strong, swift and immediate gun violence prevention legislation that will keep people safe, and keep guns out of the hands of people who should not have them.

Two key laws are already in place right now that could have prevented the tragedy at Borderline last week, specifically California’s ban on high capacity magazines — which I have supported from day one — and the Gun Violence Restraining Order. Currently, our high capacity magazine ban is being held up in court by an NRA lawsuit. This is just another example of how the gun lobby is one of our biggest barriers to keeping our communities safe, and why I have never taken NRA money and never will. Gun Violence Restraining Orders are a tool for temporarily removing firearms and ammunition from individuals in crisis, but the law is massively underused. In situations like Borderline, where families saw the red flags, the GVRO can save lives. This legislation has already been passed, but it needs awareness and advocates in order to be effective.

This is about saving lives. The vast majority of people — gun owners and gun violence prevention activists alike — agree that policies like the GVRO and high capacity magazine ban should be in place and be implemented across the country.

The Borderline shooting was incredibly close to home. Our campaign interns lost friends, my stepsister’s roommate climbed out of a window to escape, and our team had planned to celebrate our victory at Borderline the following night. This is a tragedy for our community and I intend to connect with those affected in the coming weeks. We owe it to the victims and their loved ones to be accountable not only with our words, but with our actions.

I want to thank leaders from Women Against Gun Violence, Moms Demand Action, Momtivist, Feminists in Action, Drain the NRA, and every other gun violence prevention organization who has shed light on this crisis, and who works hard every single day to ensure our communities are protected from senseless and preventable gun violence.