The Los Angeles City Council moved forward Wednesday with a plan to require that all firearms, not just handguns, be secured at home in a locked container or disabled with a trigger lock.
“Locking up guns saves lives. That is an undeniable fact,” said Councilman Paul Krekorian, who authored the motion calling for an expansion of the city’s weapons-storage ordinance. “Up to a third of accidental gun deaths and suicides among children can be avoided if responsible gun owners locked up their guns.
“In 2015, the city of Los Angeles mandated that handguns be properly secured, a law based on responsible, common-sense practices that I was proud to author. I see this as another opportunity to keep children and families safe from gun violence.”
The council unanimously approved Krekorian’s motion Wednesday, directing the city attorney to draft language for expanding the ordinance, which will have to be brought back to the council for another vote.
Since the 2015 law took effect, the City Attorney’s Office has prosecuted several people for allegedly violating the law.
In one case, LAPD officers received a tip that a student had threatened to bring a weapon to school and shoot a classmate, Krekorian said. After a search of the student’s home, officers retrieved two handguns and one rifle that were not properly secured. While the youth’s parent was charged under the law for not properly securing the handguns, the city’s policy did not include the rifle or other firearms.
“It’s a simple solution to avoid an innumerable number of injuries and deaths,” Councilman Paul Koretz said. “Just over the weekend between Virginia, Chicago and Texas, it was deemed the most violent weekend of the year. There are so many mass gun violence issues that we don’t even pay attention to them anymore. Over my career, I never imagined this getting worse.”
A presentation in the council chamber on gun violence prevention was attended by advocates including representatives of Women Against Gun Violence and California chapters of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.
Mayor Eric Garcetti in May announced the start of a “Louder Than Guns” educational campaign to promote gun violence prevention. The campaign uses “mock” advertisements purporting to sell bullet insurance for people who call 1-833-GUNSURE.
On Friday, which is National Gun Violence Awareness Day, the mock ads will be replaced by posters touting the campaign’s website, www.louderthanguns.org, where people can share their stories and opportunities to become a campaign ambassador.
Garcetti’s office said the goal is to remove 20,000 weapons from Los Angeles by 2022.
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