The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted on Tuesday to advance a number of measures that would make it more difficult to obtain a firearm in unincorporated areas of the county.
Several gun control measures are being considered by the board, including raising the age to purchase rifles and shotguns from 18 to 21, including semi-automatic, AR-15-style rifles, which an 18-year-old gunman Similar to the rifle I bought. Used it to murder 19 children and two teachers in Uvalde, Texas, on May 24.
Janice Hahn, Fourth District Supervisor, who co-authored the proposal with First District Supervisor Hilda Solis, said, “I wanted to see common sense gun measures that we can act here at the local level that I know will save lives.” ” “Making it harder for people to buy guns is the least we can do.”
Other gun control measures are being considered: banning the sale of certain large-caliber handguns, enacting safe-storage laws, prohibiting a gun seller from selling firearms near a school, and allowing anyone on the no-fly list to buy a handgun. stop with
“If you’re too dangerous to fly in an airplane, you’re too dangerous to buy a gun,” Hahn said.
“It is time to revisit the topic of implementing more stringent gun control measures in Los Angeles County and strengthening already existing measures,” read the board’s resolution by a 5-0 vote. The board also pushed through the US Senate for a bi-partisan framework of measures to close gun-sale loopholes and provide more mental health services for potential attackers.
“Gun control measures such as age limits, background checks, red flag laws and certain weapons restrictions are correlated with lower rates of gun violence,” states the county proposal, which compared those being considered in Congress. More stringent measures are involved.
Any new gun-control measures or enhancements to existing legislation must first be investigated by the Los Angeles County Council office, which was directed to submit a legal analysis of the new or enhanced measures to the board within the next two months. In addition, the county’s attorney and chief executive’s office were ordered to amend the laws and add more enforcement, making recommendations to the board within three months.
County officials prepared a report on potential gun control regulations in June 2018, but the board of supervisors chose not to pursue the suggested measures.
Tuesday’s proposal said California already has “some of the strongest gun control measures in the country, but there are still some areas to which Los Angeles County can expand.”
The state banned the sale of semi-automatic weapons to people under the age of 21 in a bill in 2019 by state Sen. Anthony Portantino, de-la Canada Flintridge. But in May a US appeals court ruled that law unconstitutional.
By a 2-1 vote, a panel of the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the law violated the Second Amendment right to bear arms. However, the court left a requirement that the buyer must obtain a hunting license. The two judges, who rule in the majority, were appointed by former President Donald Trump.
The board of supervisors said the nationwide epidemic of mass shootings and an increase in gun violence within the county have brought back the possibility of enacting county ordinances related to guns. So far in 2022, there have been 250 mass shootings in the US. A “mass shooting” is defined as the result of four or more victims.
“It’s not just a school or a synagogue somewhere in Texas. It’s really everywhere you go,” said third district supervisor Sheila Kuehl. “It could be at a big box store or your market.”
At the virtual board meeting, many spoke out in favor of stricter gun laws. They included organizers against gun violence, such as the March for Our Lives, a youth-led group advocating for stricter gun laws, awareness, and education after the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, In which 17 people were killed.
In an amendment to the resolution, the board asked the county public health department to look into the concept of declaring gun violence a public health crisis. This can empower the board to extend the ordinance.
Shootings and other crimes involving firearms have increased in Los Angeles County. So far this year, the county has seen 1,272 aggravated assaults with a firearm and 345 unlawful shootings in areas patrolled by the Sheriff’s Department. The county reported an increase of 71% and 68%, respectively, in 2020 compared to the same time period.
Solis said the increase in gun violence in the county stemmed from mass shootings and domestic violence-related shootings, which she wants to be addressed by the sheriff’s department, and possibly through new regulations.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.