Los Angeles Takes A Big Stand On Guns

LA's City Council voted unanimously to ban possession of high capacity gun magazines.

Los Angeles’ City Council voted Tuesday to ban the possession of gun magazines that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition, mirroring similar legislation in San Francisco and Sunnyvale.

The ban, first proposed by Councilman Paul Krekorian in 2013, passed unanimously. Under the new legislation, possessing a firearm magazine that can hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition will be a misdemeanor. Once the ban is in effect, Los Angeles residents will have 60 days to comply with the new law either by turning in the magazines to police, legally selling them or removing them from the city. Law enforcement, service members and firearm dealers are exempt from the ban.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said he plans to sign the ordinance.

The measure is expected to face a legal challenge from the National Rifle Association, which criticized the proposal ahead of Tuesday’s vote.

“Criminals will certainly not respect and obey these flawed ordinances,” read a statement from the gun rights group’s lobbying arm. “The only people who will be affected by these misguided anti-gun ordinances are the law-abiding gun owners whose Second Amendment rights and inherent right to self-defense are being infringed by them.”

The legal threats, however, do not faze Krekorian.

“If the NRA wants to sue us over this, bring it on,” the councilman said, according to the Los Angeles Times.

While California largely bans the manufacturing and sale of high capacity magazines, possession is still legal in most of the state. But with gun control legislation languishing in Congress, cities like San Francisco, Sunnyvale and now Los Angeles have taken the issue into their own hands, passing bans on high capacity weapons. The ordinances in Sunnyvale and San Francisco have both been held up by courts.

According to a 2013 analysis by Mother Jones, more than half of mass shootings between 1982 and 2012 involved high capacity magazines. Advocates of the Los Angeles ban argue the measure will help prevent such incidents.

“The step we’re taking today is not a wild step,” Krekorian said during a rally before the city council’s vote, according to the Guardian. “People who want to defend homes don’t need a 1,000-round drum magazine to do so.”

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