AB 675 makes possession of fentanyl and a loaded firearm a felony
SACRAMENTO – Assemblywoman Esmeralda Soria’s AB 675, a bill to prohibit the possession of fentanyl and a loaded firearm, has been approved by the Assembly Public Safety Committee.
The fentanyl epidemic is a national and state-wide public health and safety crisis that has unfortunately amplified in the past decade. The Central Valley is no exception; in Fresno County, fentanyl overdoses more than doubled from 2019 to 2020. The distribution of fentanyl is often extremely deceptive, resulting in countless accidental deaths.
Assemblywoman Soria introduced AB 675 earlier this year. This bill would increase penalties for those in possession of both a loaded firearm and a controlled substance like fentanyl. Currently, state law prohibits the possession of any amount of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, or PCP while armed with a loaded firearm. AB 675 would extend this law to include fentanyl, which is up to 50 times stronger than heroin, so that possession of both is punishable by a felony.
“We must hold accountable those responsible for spreading this poison to our communities.” said Assemblywoman Soria.
Assemblywoman Soria was accompanied by Merced County District Attorney Nicole Silveira during the Assembly Public Safety Committee hearing today. Silveira echoed Assemblywoman Soria’s call to action in her own testimony:
“The fentanyl epidemic has brought too many tragedies to Merced County families, accounting for 22 deaths in the past two years,” said Silveira. “We must do all that we can to stop the rise in fentanyl deaths and prioritize public safety.”
For questions about this bill, or to express opposition or support, please Contact Assemblywoman Soria.