Keep Our Seniors Safe Act Signed by Governor Newsom

SAN DIEGO, Calif. -- Consumer Advocates for RCFE Reform (CARR) announces that California Governor Newsom signed the Keep Our Seniors Safe Act, a part of SB 172 (Portantino) which was signed into law on 12 October, 2019.

The Keep Our Seniors Safe Act strengthens the Health and Safety Code by adding safe gun storage requirements for firearms retained by residential care facilities for the elderly (RCFE - also known as assisted living facilities).

CARR sponsored this common-sense safe gun storage legislation in recognition that an estimated 70% of assisted living residents have a diagnosis of Alzheimer's Disease or related dementias (ADRD). Dementia is a primary reason families seek an assisted living placement for a family member.

Many assisted living facilities are licensed to accept and retain residents having mild to severe cognitive impairment. Common characteristics include disorientation, confusion, changes in mood or personality and impaired judgment. CARR's public records' research evidenced that some assisted living facilities were storing firearms in unlocked desk drawers, or allowing residents to retain weapons in their rooms.

The characteristics and associated behaviors of a resident with cognitive impairment, coupled with unsecured weapons inside an RCFE posed an unreasonable risk of harm to residents, families and any third party working in or visiting an assisted living facility.

The Keep Our Seniors Safe Act fills the statutory and regulatory gaps concerning firearm storage by requiring weapons to be centrally stored in the facility, in a locked gun safe meeting the regulatory standards established by the California Department of Justice.

The statute advances CARR's consumer-driven agenda focused on reducing health and safety risks to residents living in California's licensed assisted living facilities.

"This legislation (Chapter 840) gives the state's agency (Department of Social Services, Community Care Licensing Division DSS/CCLD) responsible for licensing assisted living facilities definitive and unequivocal standards for determining compliant gun storage," said CARR's President, Christine Murphy.

This is CARR's second piece of legislation to become law; the first was AB 1523 (Atkins) requiring assisted living facilities to carry liability insurance.

About CARR:
Consumer Advocates for RCFE Reform (CARR) is a San Diego-based 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization promoting transparency and accountability for consumers using assisted living services, and specializing in public document research on assisted living facilities, and the state's oversight of the industry. Learn more at: https://rcfereform.org/

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