LA City Council passes tough handgun storage law

28 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Activists Rally to Demand Vendor Legalization in LA.

Handgun owners in Los Angeles will be required to store their firearms in locked containers or disable the weapons with trigger locks under a law unanimously approved Tuesday by the City Council. The rule, which would require gun owners to keep their handguns either disabled with a trigger lock or stored in a locked container, is similar to ordinances in San Francisco, New York City, and a statewide law in Massachusetts.Los Angeles lawmakers voted unanimously Tuesday to pass a new law requiring Angelenos to lock up or disable their handguns at home if they aren’t close at hand.

The measure (PDF), which is backed by Councilman Paul Krekorian, aims to keep weapons away from children or others who could unintentionally harm themselves.Under the ordinance, handguns will need to be disabled and kept on the owner’s person or within close enough proximity that it is in the owner’s control. Krekorian told KNX 1070 police will only be able to enforce the law under specific circumstances, such as “when the police have an interaction with a family for example that’s engaged in domestic violence, or when a county work checks on home in a child welfare check.” (©2015 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. Backers of the measure said it will keep children safer in the nation’s second-largest city by reducing the chances of a child grabbing a handgun and accidentally killing someone else or themselves. “This is less about gun control, and simply more about controlling your gun”. In June, the Supreme Court turned down a National Rifle Association-led appeal aimed at loosening the restrictions, when it let stand lower court rulings that upheld the San Francisco measure.

Krekorian said more preschoolers are killed with guns annually than police officers. “It’s unacceptable to live in a country where it’s more dangerous to be a preschooler than to be a police officer — and we can do something about that today,” Krekorian said. That law, which goes into effect next month, came amid increasingly urgent debate over gun laws following recent mass shootings in the United States, including last an attack on a historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina and a campus shooting in Roseburg, Oregon.

Law enforcement groups had pushed for exemptions for off-duty or retired police officers, but those were excluded from the final draft approved Tuesday. They say it contributes to a “patchwork quilt” of laws that citizens, including off-duty police officers, must navigate under threat of criminal prosecution. On Monday, many U.S. police chiefs called for universal gun background checks and on Tuesday, President Barack Obama called for the nation’s police chiefs to push tighter gun controls.

Gun rights activists have warned they may sue over the rules, arguing that city lawmakers shouldn’t decide how people choose to protect themselves in their homes. Rhonda Foster with Women Against Gun Violence asked the council to exclude the allowances, saying “our homes are our sanctuary, our safe haven”. “That’s why we have the courts, they’ll apply it in an appropriate way”, Krekorian said. The Council had already voted in favor of the gun storage rules earlier this year, but city lawyers still had to hammer out the final wording of the ordinance. It is unclear exactly what the rules could mean in specific situations — for instance, whether someone could sleep with a loaded gun on his or her nightstand. Joining the sheriffs as plaintiffs are the California Rifle and Pistol Association, the Law Enforcement Alliance of America, the California Reserve Peace Officers Association, sheriffs, and six gun owners, including a retired policeman, a retired member of the military, members of shooting teams and firearms instructors.

The law may be moot, however, because the city’s only gun shop, High Bridge Arms, announced last month that it will close rather than subject customers to new requirements. The question of whether someone was in control “would be a case by case, fact-based determination made by a court,” said Rob Wilcox, a spokesman for City Atty. Krekorian said police won’t be going door-to-door to examine how guns are stored but could encounter violations while reacting to other calls or in the aftermath of a shooting. Luckily for Perez she had the support of various organizations like the East Los Angeles Community Corporation who have helped her stay in the country.

Krekorian and Englander stood side by side at a news conference after the vote, where Englander attributed the talk of a delay to “a miscommunication.” Mayor Eric Garcetti plans to sign the law, which would go into effect 30 days after he does so. And yet we’ve failed to create a s ystem that works for customers, vendors and brick-and-mortar businesses,” Price said. “Today my colleagues I will have the opportunity to change that. We’ll have a chance to put together a program that will stand up for these micro-entrepreneur’s and allow them to earn a living.” Jeri Wingo has been a street vendor in Leimert Park since the mid-90’s selling everything from buttons to signs. “I think that it’s an honest way to make a living.

The biggest opponents of street vending are often brick-and-mortar businesses because they feel that they have to compete with businesses that are unregulated.

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