Mayor Eric Garcetti signed into law Friday a ban on the possession of large-capacity gun magazines with more than 10 rounds and called on national leaders to follow the Los Angeles example in adopting similar gun laws.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. Photo by John Schreiber.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. Photo by John Schreiber.
Such measures are “common sense and they should be nationwide,” Garcetti said during a City Hall signing event today.

“Sadly, in the face of overwhelming evidence, swelling public support and the endless tragic deaths … Washington refuses to act,” the mayor said. “But we have power right here.”

The citywide ban, approved last week by the Los Angeles City Council, closes a loophole in the state’s existing ban of large-capacity ammunition clips that hold more than 10 rounds, city officials said.

The state law prohibits importing, selling and manufacturing such devices, but allows people to own or possess them.

Councilman Paul Krekorian, author of the city ban, said that despite the state prohibitions, California residents can still order large-capacity magazine clips — sometimes with 30 rounds or more — through online websites and then pass them off as magazines they owned prior to the state law going into effect.

“Would it be illegal for those (high-capacity magazines) to be sent into California? Yes. But once they’re here, if somebody has that in their backpack, how is law enforcement going to be able to make a determination whether it was purchased 20 years ago or 20 minutes ago?” Krekorian said.

Activists from Women Against Gun Violence and the Brady Campaign who attended the signing said the law would save lives by keeping high-capacity magazines out of the hands of gunmen intent on killing large numbers of people quickly.

Suzanne Verge, president of the Brady Campaign’s Los Angeles chapter, said that even as the Sandy Hook Elementary School gunman killed 20 children and six adults, several other children escaped in the time it took for him to reload his gun.

“He fired 154 shots in approximately four minutes” using high-capacity gun magazines each loaded with 30 bullets, Verge said.

At one point, the shooter had to reload, and in that time, “11 children were able to escape and are alive today,” she said.

“What if that shooter didn’t have to reload only six times, but had to reload 15 times? she asked. “How many children would be alive?”

— City News Service

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