Supervisor Terra Lawson-Remer to Host Gun Violence Reduction Summit

News Date

SAN DIEGO (SEPTEMBER 26 , 2023) – The County of San Diego’s leading gun violence reduction champion, County Supervisor Terra Lawson-Remer, is bringing together experts, community members and elected officials to discuss actions San Diego has taken to address gun violence; and what else needs to happen to save lives and keep neighborhood safe. Supervisor Lawson-Remer is hosting her “Gun Violence Reduction Summit” on Friday, September 29, 2023 from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. and it will feature a keynote address from California Attorney General Rob Bonta and four panels. 

The Summit will take place in the Board of Supervisor Chambers on the Third Floor of the County Administration Center, 1600 Pacific Hwy., San Diego CA 92101, before a live audience. It is open to the public, but RSVP is required because seating is limited.  If people are unable to attend, they can stream the Summit via a Zoom Webinar. Both the RSVP and streaming option can be found at

“I want other people’s children and my daughter, who was born right before I became Supervisor, to live in a safer San Diego and I made policies to reduce gun violence one of my highest priorities. The people sitting in this seat did not always have the same priorities,” said Supervisor Lawson-Remer. “The outcome I hope we achieve from this Summit is for our community to become better informed about what is being done to help keep their families and children safe. I also want us to use this Summit as a launch-pad for like-minded individuals to come together, and figure out how they can work together to protect more people in San Diego from gun violence.”

As part of his keynote address Attorney General Bonta at the end of the Summit will underscore the significance of the County’s collective efforts in combating gun violence.  

“There have been more mass shootings than days in 2023; gun violence is now the leading cause of death for American children. Enough has long-been enough.” said Attorney General Bonta. “Gun safety laws work, and yet time and time again, they’ve been stopped or delayed from being implemented by the gun lobby and the politicians in their pockets. I am grateful for the opportunity to join our partners in San Diego as we discuss creative and collaborative solutions, including investing in lifesaving violence intervention programs that work to break cycles of retaliatory shootings and pushing forward in our efforts to hold the firearms industry accountable. Whether by seizing firearms from potentially dangerous individuals, taking the gun industry to court, or seeking a constitutional amendment, California is committed to ending gun violence and keeping our people safe.”

The effect gun violence has on families in San Diego County flies under the radar, which is why there has been so much focus by local leaders to consult with people from the community about the best ways to address these issues; and Council President pro Tem. 

“If we want to eradicate gun violence, we must start with addressing the meaning of community policing, an approach that must be rooted in treating every person with compassion, dignity, and respect,” said Council President pro Tem Montgomery Steppe. “I want San Diegans to feel safe on every block and in every community. This Summit presents the opportunity for many stakeholders and community members to work together to bring solutions, take action to mitigate this violence and foster unity and healing.”

The panels and participants are as follows: 

Panel 1 - Suicide Prevention: Highlighting strategies, particularly those targeted at our veterans, to address gun-related suicides. Participants will include:

  • Dr. Eric Rafla-Yuan, MD, 988 Technical Advisor, California’s Office of Emergency Services 

  • Dr. Luke Bergmann, Director, County of San Diego Behavioral Health 

  • Dr. Heidi Kraft Ph.D., Chief Clinical Officer, PsychArmor   

Panel 2 - Community-Driven Peace Work: Delving into the underlying causes of violence within our communities and discussing proactive solutions. Participants will include:

  • Monica Montgomery-Steppe, City Council President Pro-tem, City of San Diego

  • Bishop Cornelius Bowser, Founder, Shaphat Outreach 

Panel 3 - Protecting Children: Exploring measures to ensure the safety of our youth and prevent gun violence in educational and community settings. Participants will include:

  • Therese Hymer, Legislation and Advocacy Team Lead, San Diegans for Gun Violence Prevention

  • Colleen Creighton, Director of End Family Fire, Brady United 

  • April Laster, Founder and CEO, Open Heart Leaders 

  • Catherine Blakespear, Senator, State of California

Panel 4 - Holding the Firearms Industry Accountable: Exploring legal approaches to effectively tackle the issue of gun violence Participants will include:

  • Ari Frelich, Director, California Office of Gun Violence Prevention 

  • Marni von Wilpert, Councilmember, City of San Diego

  • Mara W. Elliott, City Attorney, City of San Diego 

  • Chris Ward, Assemblymember, State of California

Videos from Congressman Mike Levin and Congresswoman Sara Jacobs will also be played during the Summit. 

Supervisor Lawson-Remer has listened to gun violence prevention advocates about their concerns and ideas; and worked with the community to take action by: 

  • making ghost guns illegal in San Diego County, 

  • training County social workers to know the signs of potential gun violence in a home, 

  • requiring all firearms in unincorporated areas to be safely stored with a  trigger lock, or using a container, and 

  • Authorizing the County law department to join and pursue lawsuits against gun manufacturers.  

To learn more, visit