By Assemblymember Marie Waldron
Loopholes that allow convicted rapists and human traffickers to walk free before completing their sentences must be closed; criminal use and possession of firearms must be reined in.
Thousands of cases of sex trafficking are reported in the U.S. each year. Unfortunately, San Diego County has been identified as a major hub for this despicable criminal enterprise.
That’s why I’m supporting legislation that would add human trafficking involving child prostitution and forced prostitution to the list of violent felonies.
The bill would also make these crimes a “strike” under the state’s Three Strikes Law. Other bills combating human trafficking would increase court ordered protections for victims, require registration of persons as sex offenders who solicit prostitution from a minor, increase mandates for reporting suspected sexual assault of a child, and provide critical funding to prosecute human trafficking.
I am also supporting legislation to increase prison terms for felons convicted of a second or subsequent offense involving a firearm. Prison terms would be lengthened to 4, 5 or 6 years in jail from current sentences that range from 16 months to 3 years. I also fully support a budget proposal to increase funding for the Armed Prohibited Persons System (APPS), which tracks felons in order to seize illegally possessed weapons. Currently, the state has a backlog of 10,000 people who illegally possess firearms; last year only 408 weapons were retrieved.
The first priority of government is public safety. Convicted felons should not be in possession of firearms, and human traffickers and rapists must always be treated as the violent criminals they are.
I am fighting to close these loopholes in current law to increase public safety in our communities.
Minority Floor Leader Marie Waldron, R-Escondido, represents the 75th Assembly District in the California Legislature, which includes the communities of Bonsall, Escondido, Fallbrook, Hidden Meadows, Pala, Palomar Mountain, Pauma Valley, Rainbow, San Marcos, Temecula, Valley Center and Vista.