L.A. councilman weighs city ban on high-capacity gun magazines
This post has been corrected. See below for details.
Los Angeles City Councilman Paul Krekorian wants city officials to prepare a report on the feasibility of banning the possession for high-capacity gun magazines.
While the California penal code currently prohibits the manufacture and sale of high-capacity magazines, Krekorian said in a council motion Tuesday that a ban on the possession of the magazines within city limits could improve public safety.
"On the streets of Los Angeles, high-capacity magazines pose a daily threat to our citizens and police officers," the motion reads.
His motion cites the 1997 North Hollywood shootout -- during which two bank robbers fired thousands of automatic weapon rounds at responding officers -- as well as the recent Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings in Newtown, Conn.
"While high-capacity magazines are not the cause of gun violence, they do make such tragic cases far more deadly," Krekorian wrote. "In light of this fact, a well-regulated city with concern for the safety of its communities should consider controlling the sale and possession of high-capacity magazines."
Krekorian asked that the Los Angeles Police Department, the city attorney and the city legislative analyst look into the feasibility, effectiveness and benefits of such a ban. It marks the first formal request by a council member to look into a potential ban, according to Krekorian's spokesperson.
While other council members have supported a national ban on assault weapons and called for city investment funds to sell any stock they might hold in companies that make or sell such guns, the request for this report is the first step toward curbing high-capacity ammunition at the city level since the recent mass shooting.
The December shooting in Newtown, which left 27 dead, including 20 children, and last week's shooting at Taft Union High School in Kern County have re-energized discussions of gun control measures among Los Angeles politicians.
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and LAPD Chief Charlie Beck bumped up the annual gun buyback program and have increased police presences in schools. Meanwhile, all four mayoral hopefuls -- including current council members Jan Perry and Eric Garcetti -- have called for the renewal of the federal assault weapons ban.
[For the Record, 10:21 a.m. Jan. 16: An earlier version of this online post, and its headline, incorrectly stated that Councilman Paul Krekorian has asked the city to consider banning ammunition for high-capacity gun magazines. Krekorian has requested that the city research a ban on the high-capacity magazines themselves, not their ammunition.]
-- Wesley Lowery at Los Angeles City Hall
Photo: Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa show off an array of handguns, rifles, shotguns and assault weapons collected at six locations and piled before them at a news conference outside LAPD headquarters last May. Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times