Los Angeles Leaders Call for Stricter Gun Laws

By City News Service

City leaders and some would-be Los Angeles officials clamored Wednesday to support President Barack Obama’s pledge yesterday to propose new gun restrictions by the end of January.

Obama named Vice President Joseph Biden the head of a new task force on gun violence tasked with producing the recommended legislation. Biden authored a 1994 public safety bill that included a ban on certain automatic firearms that expired in 2004.

The push for new gun regulations was driven by the shooting massacre last week at a Connecticut elementary school by a 20-year-old gunman who killed 20 first-graders and six adults before taking his own life.

In a letter sent to Biden Wednesday, Los Angeles City Attorney Carmen Trutanich proclaimed his support for re-authorizing a ban on assault weapons and a new ban on large ammunition magazine clips with more than 10 rounds of ammunition.

“I stand ready to offer you any assistance that either I or my office can provide,” Trutanich, who is up for re-election in March, wrote.

He said he intends to send a letter tomorrow to Los Angeles retail gun buyers and others reminding them of their responsibility to report gun transfers, sales, losses or thefts to the state Department of Justice.

“As we grieve for the victims and families of Sandy Hook Elementary School, we cannot allow our overwhelming sadness to delay our resolve in ending the epidemic of gun violence in America,” Trutanich said.

Former Assemblyman Mike Feuer, who is running against Trutanich for city attorney, penned an opinion piece on gun violence for the Huffington Post’s Los Angeles site.

“It is time to draw upon the courage of parents to make real progress toward a safer country, especially for our children,” Feuer wrote.

He credited the 1994 assault weapon ban with reducing gun violence by taking off the street firearms “exactly like the Bushmaster assault weapon used to fire multiple rounds at each of the 20 children killed in Newtown. Since that law expired, the gun lobby’s surrogates in Congress have blocked every effort to renew it.”

“We need an army of determined parents to change the debate on gun legislation in Congress,” Feuer added.

Councilman Eric Garcetti and City Controller Wendy Greuel, who are running for mayor, each expressed support on their respective Facebook pages for Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s pledge to introduce a bill that would ban assault weapons when the new session of Congress begins in January. Garcetti also penned an opinion piece on HuffPost Los Angeles.

Meanwhile, City Councilman Paul Koretz said today he will introduce a City Council resolution in January that would put the entire city on record supporting Feinstein’s forthcoming bill.

“These frighteningly deadly mass shooting sprees seem to be increasingly frequent and are made far easier to accomplish by the presence of assault weapons,” Koretz said. “Sanity, safety and care for our fellow human beings dictate that we support and adopt legislation to ban such weaponry.”

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December 20, 2012  Copyright © 2012 Eastern Group Publications, Inc.

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