The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors unanimously passed a series of gun control measures Tuesday, including banning the sale of .50 caliber handguns in unincorporated areas.
The motions — authored by Board Chair Janice Hahn, Supervisor Hilda L. Solis and Supervisor Lindsey P. Horvath — came in response to the mass shooting at Star Ballroom Dance Studio in Monterey Park on the eve of the Lunar New Year, which resulted in the deaths of 11 people and injuries to nine others. The alleged gunman, 72-year-old Huu Can Tran, also died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound hours later.
The board recently declared gun violence a public health crisis.
We know that blame for the gun violence epidemic lies with the failure of Congressional leaders to pass even the most basic federal gun laws. Because they have not acted — we have found actions we can take at the county level to protect lives.
One of the motions expected to take effect soon aims to stop the sale of .50 caliber firearms and ammunition in unincorporated areas and prohibits carrying firearms on public property with certain exceptions — notably law enforcement.
Additionally, it asks the Department of Regional Planning to prepare an ordinance to implement zoning regulations with a 1,000 feet buffer between firearm sellers and “child-sensitive areas” — i.e. parks and schools — and for the Treasurer and Tax collector to prepare final amendments to the County code regarding business licenses to improve firearm and ammunition regulation in unincorporated areas.
Another item directs the County’s Chief Executive Office’s Legislative Affairs and Intergovernmental Relations branch to send a letter to U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) in support of Senate bills that seek to raise the minimum age for purchasing assault weapons from 18 to 21, as well as ban the sale, transfer, manufacture and importation of military-style assault weapons, high-capacity magazines and other high-capacity ammunition feeding devices.
There is also an item directing the same branch to support bills that strengthen concealed-carry laws and require federally licensed firearm dealers to complete annual training from California’s Justice Department.
Another motion instructs County Counsel to draft an ordinance and report back to the board on requiring all firearms in a residence to be securely stored in a locked container or disabled trigger lock.
The motion also calls for draft ordinance language that would mandate liability insurance for gun owners.
Additionally, it calls for the feasibility of implementing a County gun database and asks the Treasurer and Tax Collector to prepare an amendment to the County code requiring gun stores to display signs with specific language that warn customers of the risks associated with firearms.
Solis said she intends to do “whatever is possible to protect Los Angeles County residents,” especially after the Monterey Park tragedy.
Gun-related violence will continue to cause mass damage, trauma, and harm if we do not take the necessary steps at all levels of government. This includes supporting key gun safety legislation like Senator Feinstein’s recent action to reinstate the assault weapons and high capacity magazine ban. Today, living in the United States of America means being at risk of becoming a victim of a mass shooting. To that end, time is of the essence.
Horvath said she is proud to advance “common sense” gun safety guidelines through the new measures.
We must do absolutely everything in our power to prevent and put an end to gun violence in our community. Today’s motions do exactly that. I’m proud to advance common sense gun safety guidelines and to join my Board colleagues in our continued demand to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.