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Anti-gun plans pass in L.A. City Council

December 17, 2008 5:46:57 AM PST
The Los Angeles City Council unanimously approved six anti-gun ordinances on Wednesday.The ordinances include:
  • Allowing landlords to evict tenants who illegally possess guns
  • Banning the sale of .50-caliber ammunition and cartridges
  • Requiring ammunition vendors to be licensed and require face-to-face transactions and record-keeping for all ammunition sales made in the city of Los Angeles
  • Allowing the seizure of vehicles used by gang members while committing a crime
  • Banning secret compartments in vehicles to hide firearms
  • Requiring gun dealers to conduct inventories and report the inventories to the Los Angeles Police Department

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who announced the proposals in May, said the ordinances are part of a partnership between local and federal law enforcement agencies to crack down on gang- and gun-related violence in Los Angeles.

"In order to permanently reduce gang violence, illegal firearms must be public enemy number one," Villaraigosa said. "Today, we're taking one more step toward building safer streets, safer neighborhoods and safer cities."

Banning the sale of .50-caliber ammunition closes a loophole that was created when the state agreed to ban the sale of the weapon.

"Unless you're out trying to kill Godzilla, and I think the last time we saw Godzilla was the 1950s, there is no need for this type of weapon in an urban environment," said police Chief William Bratton.

The chief said the city of Los Angeles has experienced 30 fewer murders this year than at this date last year. In 2007, there were 392 murders, and guns were used to kill 314 of those victims.

Representatives for Gun Owners of California were not immediately available to comment on the new laws.

Attorneys for the National Rifle Association and the California Rifle and Pistol Association have threatened to sue the city over the ordinance that requires gun deals to provide inventory lists to the LAPD. They say the law "appears to be motivated more by election politics than policy."

"The proposed ordinance is preempted by state law, is unconstitutional under the Second Amendment and for other reasons, is redundant with state and federal laws, and is unnecessary and unreasonably burdensome on firearm retailers," according to a letter sent by lawyer C.B. Michel, representing the NRA.

"It is comprehensive and it covers apartments, cars, guns, ammunition," said Councilman Jack Weiss, chair of the Public Safety Committee about the package of ordinances.

"It's the right way to attack these problems, to be comprehensive in scope and to be comprehensive in terms of support," Weiss said. "This is truly a gun control package that has been generated by and has support from the entire city."


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