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Los Angeles Council Supports Handgun Regulation

Handgun
Los Angeles council members voted July 1 to support an Assembly bill regulating single-shot handguns, (Thinkstock)

A State Assembly bill proposing to regulate single-shot handguns has gained the support of the Los Angeles City Council, which unanimously voted on July 1 to back Assembly Bill 1964 (AB 1964)

A resolution drafted by the Los Angeles Councilman whose district includes Century City and other Westside communities sought the support of his colleagues to support the bill.

Councilman Paul Koretz’s resolution specifically asked his colleagues to support AB 1964, which proposes to remove an exemption of single-shot handguns from being placed on the unsafe handguns list.

According to the resolution, single-shot handguns are easily modified and can be adjusted to become a semi-automatic weapon. Even more, the resolution stated the sale of single-shot handguns “skyrocketed” since 2010, when handgun safety measures became increasingly common in California.

“Single-shot handguns are increasingly popular because they are easy to modify to fire in semiautomatic mode while not having to meet California’s safe handgun regulations. This loophole enables individuals to purchase unsafe weapons and skirt California’s attempt to regulate gun safety,” Koretz’s resolution stated.

The resolution added AB 1964 would “close the loophole and remove the exemption for single-shot handguns from inclusion on the unsafe handguns list” while also promoting gun safety and ensuring handguns sold in California “would meet all required safety regulations.”

Under current California law, any handgun sold in the State is required to meet specific safety standards under the Safe Handgun Law. All handguns meeting those standards are listed on a roster, which is maintained by the California Dept. of Justice.

Single-shot handguns are currently exempt from being listed on that roster.

AB 1964 is currently being considered in the State Senate. The Senate’s Public Safety Committee voted 4 to 2 (with one person not voting) in favor of the bill.

The bill won in the Assembly by a vote of 48 to 25 (six people not registering votes).

Several groups and leaders favor AB 1964, including All Saints Church of Pasadena, California Chapters of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, Coalition Against Gun Violence, League of Women Voters of California, Los Angeles City Attorney Michael Feuer, Mayor Eric Garcetti, and Women Against Gun Violence, among others.

The California Assoc. of Federal Firearms Licensees opposes AB 1964.

“The clear intent of this measure is to further narrow California’s already onerous and overly burdensome ‘not unsafe’ handgun roster and eliminate more firearms from the non-peace officer marketplace,” a statement issued by the California Assoc. of Federal Firearms Licensees said in opposition of the bill. “There is no evidentiary need for the passage of AB 1964. The penal code, as it relates to firearms, is already overflowing with laws that are not enforced or unenforceable. AB 1964 is a solution in search of a problem.”

In support of the bill, the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence stated AB 1964 is necessary because “manufacturers and dealers may sell … temporarily altered single-shot guns to purchasers, who may then convert them back into semiautomatic handguns that would not meet the State’s safety requirements.”

Assemblyman Roger Dickinson (D-Sacramento) introduced AB 1964, which still has to clear three separate votes in the State Senate.

The final vote at the City Council was 11-0, with four councilmen – Gil Cedillo, Jose Huizar, Paul Krekorian, and Tom LaBonge – not present to vote.

There was no discussion of the resolution on the dais; council members voted on the resolution with a package of other agenda items.

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