No worries in the balmy vacation destination of Palm Springs?
While most weary residents of Los Angeles think of Palm Springs as an easy warm weekend getaway, the famed desert city exists very much in the real world and will have a new crackdown on firearms take effect in 30 days.
The Palm Springs City Council – in a contentious debate with a split vote – has approved a new law requiring that firearms be locked up while not in the owner’s control and that the loss or theft of guns be reported to police.
The ordinance was introduced in July by Councilman Geoff Kors, soon after the June shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, where 49 people were killed and more than 50 wounded. Palm Springs has a significant gay population.
One councilmember said the new law will help “protect our citizens,” but another decried the measure, asking how you “control morality” by writing legislation.
The Council approved the ordinance Wednesday night with a 3-2 vote, mirroring the vote conducted at the council’s Sept. 7 meeting, amid protests from pro-gun residents who complained the requirements would unfairly punish lawful gun owners.
Under the ordinance, gun owners will be required to:
— report lost or stolen guns to the police within 48 hours of the gun’s disappearance;
— store guns not in the “immediate” control by the owner in a locked container or with a trigger lock; and
— keep concealed firearms or ammunition out of unattended vehicles, unless it is stored in a locked container or the vehicle’s trunk.
Violators could face misdemeanor charges and a fine of $1,000.
Revisions made since then included removing a ban on “large-capacity” magazines that can hold 10 or more rounds and a requirement that firearm merchants track every transaction by gathering personal identifying details via an “ammunition sales log.”
Kors, Mayor Robert Moon, and Councilman J.R. Roberts again voted to approve the ordinance, while Councilwoman Ginny Foat and Councilman Chris Mills voted against the ordinance.
Moon said he didn’t feel that the ordinance constituted “gun control,” as the ordinance’s opponents allege.
“I feel this is something that is going to help protect our citizens,” Moon said.
Foat renewed comments from earlier this month, in which she said the ordinance was not enforceable and there was no way to know that residents would actually lock up their guns.
“How do you control morality and how do you control common sense by writing laws?” Foat asked, who also said the measures infringed upon the rights of homeowners.
Kors argued that there was no way to know that residents would follow any laws, unless someone reported a crime.
Roberts echoed Kors’ sentiments, saying “We can’t always know and rarely know what people are doing in their homes.”
The ordinance will take effect in 30 days.
— City News Service
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