Press Releases

Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), author of the Assault Weapons Ban of 2013, has invited a California victim of gun violence to attend Tuesday’s State of the Union address. 

In 1999, 6-year-old Josh Stepakoff was shot at the North Valley Jewish Community Center shooting in Granada Hills, Calif., near Los Angeles. The gunman was a white supremacist who fired more than 70 rounds with a semi-automatic assault rifle, injuring five people, including three young children.

“Josh is a remarkable young man whose life was forever changed by a senseless act of mass gun violence.” said Feinstein. “Since his tragic experience, Josh has become a voice for young victims across the country. It is important for members of Congress to see the faces behind these tragedies of gun violence.”

Stepakoff, 20, is a member of the board of Women Against Gun Violence and is involved with Mayors Against Illegal Guns and the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. He is currently a student at California State University Northridge.

“I have deep respect for the commonsense gun reforms President Obama has laid out, in particular the support of a ban on semi-automatic assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines,” Feinstein added. “As the president said, ‘weapons designed for the theater of war have no place in our society.’ I hope he will again address this issue in tomorrow’s speech.”

Senator Feinstein is the author of the Assault Weapons Ban of 2013, which prohibits the sale, transfer, importation and manufacture of 157 dangerous military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines of more than 10 rounds.