Wednesday, September 27, 2023
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Gun Groups’ Bid to Stop Los Angeles’|High-Capacity Ammunition Ban Stalled

LOS ANGELES - A state court judge on Thursday rejected an attempt by gun groups and law enforcement to delay Los Angeles' ban on high-capacity gun magazines.

Enforcement of the magazine ban will begin in a week's time, said City Attorney Mike Feuer's office after Superior Court Judge James Chalfant ruled in the city's favor.

"This is a victory for common-sense gun violence prevention laws," said Feuer in a written statement. "The use of these magazines has so often led to tragedy. This law will help prevent those horrible events in the future."

Councilmember Paul Krekorian wrote - and the city council in July unanimously passed - the ordinance, which bars the possession of magazines holding ten or more rounds within city limits.

"The city council banned the possession of large-capacity magazines to give law enforcement another tool to keep people safe and get these dangerous devices off the streets," Krekorian said after the ruling.

Mayor Eric Garcetti signed the ordinance into law in early August.

Los Angeles is the largest city in the state to pass the restrictions on high-capacity magazines, closing a loophole that existed in state law.

Owners of the high-capacity magazines have until next Thursday to remove the ammunition from the city or surrender the magazines to the Los Angeles Police Department for transfer, sale or destruction.

"Starting next week, Los Angeles will start enforcing and upholding the ban. I urge anyone currently in possession of these illegal magazines to turn them in at an LAPD station before enforcement begins," Krekorian said.

"Preventing gun violence is one of my top priorities as chief and I appreciate City Attorney Feuer's ongoing efforts on this issue," LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said in a statement.

Last month, gun rights advocates and Los Angeles County sheriff deputies filed a lawsuit challenging the city's ban on high-capacity gun magazines.

California Rifle & Pistol Association President C.D. "Chuck" Michel, who is also the plaintiffs' attorney, said that the case is "far from over."

"Basically the court merely denied injunctive relief, finding that people were not 'irreparably harmed' by having to remove their magazines from the city while this is litigated. The preemption argument was not decided, and remains to be," Michel said, citing his argument that the ban is preempted by California law.

"Meanwhile, gun owners should know their rights and be careful about cooperating with police lest they become unwitting victims of this and other counterproductive city gun laws," Michel added. "That uncooperative attitude is an unfortunate but inevitable consequence of these kinds of bans."

The case is scheduled to go to trial in April 2016.

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