Los Angeles Council votes for handgun restrictions

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On November 25, 2014, Los Angeles Council unanimously voted 11 to 0 to make residents lock up handguns or disable them with a trigger lock when not in use. Los Angeles lawmakers will now start drafting a city ordinance with the same requirements and bring it back to lawmakers for approval.

With this decision, Los Angeles is following in the footsteps of San Francisco. The San Francisco gun restrictions were challenged by gun owners, but were upheld by a federal appeals court earlier this year. City Councilman Paul Krekorian has argued that some Americans “think it is their God-given right to keep an unlocked and loaded firearm on their bedstand … It is not. It is not their right. It is not responsible.”

At the same meeting, Los Angeles Council unanimously voted in favor of new rules that require firearm vendors in the city to electronically send records of all ammunition sales to the Police Department. Any seller who fails to do so would be facing misdemeanor charges. Until now, ammunition vendors were obligated to keep records of their transactions for at least two years, but didn’t have to turn them over to the Los Angeles Police Department, unless specifically requested. Krekorian said that the new rules would help law enforcement check the records against databases of people barred from buying ammunition.

FFLGuard, a group that represents hundreds of federal firearms licensees, opposed the proposed law, arguing that the rules would “only increase the regulatory burden on law-abiding retailers” and are preempted by California law.

Since fewer than a dozen council members were present for today’s vote, the ammunition ordinance will return to the Council for a second vote next week. Krekorian praised both sets of requirements as “simple and sensible steps that will keep people safe.” Grateful Angelenos can only hope that burglars, rapists and murderers will be willing to wait, while the law abiding citizens under threat proceed to unlock their self-defense weapons.

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