On Tuesday, the Los Angles City Council voted unanimously to ban to possession of “large capacity” magazines in the city, defined by lawmakers as any magazine capable of holding over 10 rounds. More than 15 years ago, the State of California outlawed the manufacture, purchase, or import of these magazines in the state, but allowed residents to keep those owned before January 1, 2000 through a grandfather clause. Supporters of the recent city council decision say the measure will close off a “dangerous” loophole.
“People who want to defend their families don’t need a 100-round drum magazine and an automatic weapon to do it,” Councilman Paul Krekorian told a crowd before City Hall on Tuesday. “Imagine what a gunman on this sidewalk could do with that kind of firepower with a crowd like this.”
Supporters pointed to recent shootings as justification for the ban.
“Large-capacity ammunition magazines are responsible for some of the deadliest mass shootings in history—and they were banned in Los Angeles yesterday,” stated the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence on Facebook. “Our legal director, Juliet Leftwich testified in support of the ban, and we’re proud to stand among those pushing smart gun laws that save lives.”
According to the Los Angeles Times, Mayor Eric Garcetti has yet to sign the ordinance, but Garcetti has already stated that he would approve it. After the ordinance is signed, gun owners who currently possess the newly-restricted magazines will have 60 days to remove, surrender, or legally sell or transfer them before the city ordinance goes into effect. Exemptions will be made for police, members of the military, firearms dealers, and those who purchased guns before 2000 that work exclusively with such magazines.
Gun rights groups such as Calguns Shooting Sports Association and the NRA heavily criticized the ordinance. According to many Second Amendment advocates, the magazines targeted by the City of Los Angeles’ ordinance are in common use among law-abiding gun owners because of their effectiveness in self defense. Others doubted that the ordinance will have much effect on crime rates or reducing mass shootings, especially since nearby cities such as Burbank do not have similar rules.
“The cards were stacked against us,” stated Calguns, which sent members to the town meeting. “There were a lot of proponents and we were just one of two in opposition, and only had a minute to speak. In fact we were even cutoff mid sentence.”
Calguns stated that there is some concern for motorists driving through the city, who might also be affected by the ordinance. The organization did clarify that the ordinance only applied to the City of Los Angeles and not surrounding areas.