New L.A. gun control law proposed

Two council members want to expand on a state law to make it more difficult for people convicted of certain misdemeanors to own weapons.

By Maeve Reston
9:13 PM PST, February 12, 2009

Just a few weeks after the Los Angeles City Council approved a batch of new gun and ammunition ordinances tightening restrictions on ammunition vendors, council members Jack Weiss and Janice Hahn are proposing a new law that would make it more difficult for individuals convicted of certain misdemeanors to own guns.

The proposal, which Weiss and Hahn plan to introduce as early as today’s council meeting, would expand on a state law that bars possession of a gun for 10 years if convicted of certain crimes, including assault, illegal weapons sales or threatening a public official or a witness.

Weiss, a candidate for city attorney in the March 3 primary election, has made gun control one of his top campaign issues.

Weiss and Hahn’s measure would add other offenses to the list, including carrying a concealed weapon, possession of an assault weapon, burglary and misdemeanor gang crimes.

Noting that there have been 138 victims of gun violence in L.A. this year, Weiss said it was “time for more aggressive and more creative measures to stop the killing.”

Hahn said the measure was intended to target gangs.

“People who commit these types of crimes have already demonstrated bad judgment, and this ordinance gives us one more tool to keep guns out of their hands and off the streets of Los Angeles,” she said.

The proposal would require council approval and legal review by the city attorney’s office before it is drafted as an ordinance.

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