Lawmakers, LGBT leaders demand gun safety reforms

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Lawmakers and members of the LGBT community called for gun safety reforms on Friday in the wake of the Orlando nightclub massacre.

State and local leaders and Equality California, the nation's largest LGBT civil rights organization, waged a war against gun violence on the steps of City Hall.

"Military-style assault weapons have no legitimate civilian use in our nation, and they are designed for one purpose - only to facilitate the maximum destruction of human life," said Sen. Isadore Hall, District 35.

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Following the Orlando massacre, leaders, including Mayor Eric Garcetti and LAPD Chief Charlie Beck, supported legislation that prohibits the sale of military-style semiautomatic firearms or bullet button equipped weapons.

"The United States has a gun problem, and I will bring that home to Angelenos. Last year, 210 people were shot and killed in the city of Los Angeles," Beck said.

Equality California took a stand, saying that stopping gun violence was the No. 1 priority for the LGBT community.

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"As a civil rights organization, we understand that gun violence disproportionately impacts communities of color, that LGBT people of color face the highest risk," said Rick Zbur with Equality California.

Local leaders are calling on Congress to adopt comprehensive federal gun safety legislation consistent with reforms advocated by President Barack Obama. At a state level, they want to close loopholes in California's existing gun protections to make sure the massacre in Orlando is never repeated anywhere.

"We are not the enemy, and we deserve protection under the law," said Maria Roman, a TransLatin activist.

Local leaders say they hope to have legislation to strengthen California's gun laws signed by Gov. Jerry Brown in the coming weeks.
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