All handguns in Los Angeles would have to be kept under lock and key — at all times when not being carried — if a group of city councilmen get their way.
Under the proposal, handguns would have to be kept in a locked container — or have the trigger lock applied.
“It is unconscionable to have a weapon in your home and not have it be stored properly, especially if you have children,” City Councilman Bob Blumenfield told the press. Blumenfield is one of several council members who publicly back the ordinance, which was proposed by Councilman Paul Krekorian.
The exact wording of the ordinance is not available because the measure has not been written yet, The Los Angeles Times reported. The next step is for the city council to vote to ask City Attorney Mike Feuer to draft the proposal.
“It is critical for Los Angeles to lead on this issue,” Krekorian said at a council meeting. “Requiring gun owners to lock up their firearms and store them safely will prevent needless accidents and tragedies. This sensible step will keep our schools and children safe.”
Krekorian made the proposal after introducing a measure to declare November 7 “TALK Day” in Los Angeles. The day honors the work of a gun control group, Women against Gun Violence, which organizes the Talk Project, a movement which educates families about gun safety.
Four other Los Angeles City council members, Bernard C. Parks, Gil Cedillo, Paul Koretz and Mitch O’Farrell, expressed support for Krekorian’s proposed ordinance. It is not known when the city council will hold hearings on the matter or when the ordinance itself will be available for public examination.
It is also not known if officials have a plan to enforce the ordinance, the CBS affiliate in Los Angeles reported.
Federal Court Upholds Mandatory Gun Storage
Krekorian’s proposed measure might be constitutional — for now. A San Francisco ordinance that requires trigger locks and secured storage of handguns was declared constitutional in March by the US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The Ninth Circuit has jurisdiction over Los Angeles as well as San Francisco.
The National Rifle Association and other gun rights groups have appealed the court’s ruling to the US Supreme Court, although the high court has not announced if it will hear the appeal. NRA-backed attorneys say the law infringes on the “core right to self-defense in the home.” Some gun owners worry they would not be able to access their handgun if there was a home robbery.
Krekorian’s proposal is part of an escalating gun control crusade within the Los Angeles city government. On Oct. 15, City Attorney Feuer brought misdemeanor charges against Leah Wilcken because her 17-year-old son took a handgun to school in May. After the son’s arrest, LA police searched Wilcken’s house and confiscated a shotgun and four more handguns.
“Guns have no place in or around our schools,” Feuer told the press after Wilcken’s arrest. “Our office will continue to take aggressive action to protect our kids, and I call on parents to prevent potentially devastating consequences by safely storing every firearm they own.”
Feuer’s remarks were made before Mr. Krekorian proposed his ordinance.
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