Mother of Laura Wilcox talks gun issues on anniversary of daughter’s death
Amanda Wilcox said she regularly has opponents lobbying against her when she speaks to members of the California Legislature.
Usually she has a supporter with her, someone also affiliated with the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.
That wasn’t the case this week when Wilcox, legislation and policy chairwoman for the state chapters of the Brady campaign, appeared before two committees about three different gun bills. She stood alone, with a larger number of opposition lobbyists than normal arguing their case.
“It just felt, particularly during a vulnerable time and an emotional week, very draining at the end of the day,” said Wilcox, whose daughter — 19-year-old Laura — was fatally shot on Jan. 10, 2001, in Nevada County.
Despite the opposition, the committee votes went her way. An Assembly bill that would have removed the good cause requirement to have a concealed carry permit failed to pass that body’s Public Safety Committee. A state Senate bill about gun silencers failed and another about gun dealer inspections passed, she said.
According to Wilcox, current law requires people who want a concealed carry permit to have good cause, like they’re the victim of stalking or carry large amounts of cash. AB 1394 would have removed the good cause requirement.
“It did fail,” Wilcox said. “It did not get out of committee.”
Wilcox said she also opposed a Senate Bill that would remove a prohibition on gun silencers. Several people in favor of the measure appeared before the committee, saying many ways exist to protect someone’s hearing from gunfire.
The Senate’s Public Safety Committee voted down SB 710, Wilcox said.
The third bill — SB 459 — would require the state Department of Justice to inspect gun dealers every two years. Wilcox supported the bill and it passed committee, she said.
Wilcox has since returned to her Nevada County home, where on the anniversary of her daughter’s death she spoke at the Hospice of the Foothills about gun issues.
“This week, being the anniversary of Laura’s death, was an emotional week,” she said. “It felt a little bit difficult, but nothing’s difficult compared to what I went through 17 years ago losing Laura.”
To contact Staff Writer Alan Riquelmy, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 530-477-4239.
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