News Releases

May 18, 2022: District Attorney Gascón Addresses Recent Mass Shootings, Gun Violence and the Need For Massive Changes to Gun Laws

Ricardo Santiago, Public Information Officer
(213) 257-2000

Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón today addressed steps that elected officials must take to prevent mass shootings such as the ones over this past weekend in Buffalo, Milwaukee and Laguna Woods, how his office has prepared to support victims should a mass shooting occur in Los Angeles County and his office’s violence prevention efforts.

“We are in this position today because we have leaders in our country who are willing to disregard public safety, sell assault rifles to 18-year-olds and spread racist hate if it helps them win elections,” said District Attorney Gascón. “Thoughts and prayers are not enough – they never have been – we must demand action.”

District Attorney Gascón was joined by Suzanne Verge, president of the Los Angeles Chapter of Brady United to Prevent Gun Violence, and Donna Brown, a survivor volunteer with Moms Demand Action.

Among the steps highlighted in the District Attorney’s call to action were:

  • Implement reasonable gun control. People should not have access to assault rifles or ghost guns.
  • Reinvest in our struggling communities and address issues like poverty, homelessness and lack of economic opportunity.
  • Fund programs proven to stop violence, like after-school programs, employment and income assistance programs and violence interruption programs.

He also highlighted the work of his Bureau of Victim Services’ Mass Victimization Crisis Response Teams, which are specially trained to help victims of mass shootings, their families and communities. 

The teams are dispatched to the scene to help victims and continue to provide services for weeks and months afterward. They provide crisis assistance, connect people with counseling services and other governmental agencies like the Department of Mental Health and assist victims in getting possible financial help through the California Victim Compensation Board.

The office’s Crisis Response Teams have helped victims of mass shootings at Saugus High School and in Long Beach in 2019, the Thousand Oaks shooting at the Borderline Bar and Grill in 2018 and in Las Vegas in 2017.

District Attorney Gascón also reiterated his innovative approach to stopping gun violence. During his tenure, he has:

  • Established the Community Violence Reduction Division to embed prosecutors into communities that are experiencing poverty and violence and to build trust and relationships to reduce crime.
  • Expanded the office’s networks to include public health practitioners and violence interrupters in crime prevention work.
  • Asked major credit card companies to stop online payments for the purchase of ghost gun kits.

“We are devoted to harnessing our resources and urging the legislature, Board of Supervisors and all of our government agencies to join together to address these serious issues,” said District Attorney Gascón.