LA County Passes New Gun Control Measures After Recent Mass Shootings
People attend a candlelight vigil on Jan. 24. for victims of a mass shooting in Monterey Park, California.
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved new gun control measures Tuesday, just weeks after back-to-back mass shootings in California’s Monterey Park and Half Moon Bay.
The move aims to tighten regulation of gun sales and possession in the county and to support future gun safety legislation, the board’s executive office said in a statement.
One motion would ban the sale of .50 caliber guns and ammunition in unincorporated areas of the county. It would also prohibit the possession of firearms on county property, including for those with concealed carry permits, according to the Los Angeles Times. Law enforcement is excluded from the ordinance.
It further requests implementing zoning regulations with a 1,000-foot buffer between firearm sellers and “child-sensitive areas.” Additionally, gun dealers in unincorporated areas of LA County would need to maintain security cameras and a fingerprint log, according to the Times.
“Because they [Congressional leaders] have not acted — we have found actions we can take at the county level to protect lives,” Chair Janice Hahn said in the board’s statement.
The motion will need a final vote to become a law.
An additional motion supports Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s legislation “to raise the minimum age to purchase assault weapons from 18 to 21 and ban the sale, transfer, manufacture, and importation of military-style assault weapons, high-capacity magazines, and other high-capacity ammunition feeding devices,” according to the statement.
“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,” said board Supervisor Hilda Solis.
Other measures are aimed at the responsible use of firearms, including the adoption of safe storage practices by gun owners and mandatory possession of liability insurance, as well as the display of warning signs where guns are sold. The Los Angeles County Counsel has been instructed to draft an ordinance.
The measures would also require licensed firearm dealers to complete annual training provided by the California Department of Justice.
News of the board’s approval came after the state witnessed two of the 39 mass shootings that occurred in the U.S. in the first few weeks of 2023. Eleven people were killed in a shooting at a Monterey Park dance studio in January. Less than 48 hours later, seven farmworkers were fatally shot in Half Moon Bay.