LOS ANGELES (CN) – Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti on Friday signed into law a city ban on possession of high-capacity gun magazines.
The city council unanimously passed the ordinance barring within city limits possession of magazines holding ten or more rounds on July 28. LA is now the largest city in the state to pass the gun-control law, closing a loophole that existed in state law that banned the sale of high-capacity magazines.
Once the law is in effect, owners of high-capacity magazines have 60 days to remove them from the city or surrender them to the Los Angeles Police Department for transfer, sale or destruction.
“I am committed to reducing the gun violence in our city,” Garcetti said in a statement. “This ban is part of that larger effort. It will help keep our streets safer and help prevent the magnitude of mass shootings. We are sending a clear message – we will not wait for Washington to act, we are ready to act now.”
Councilman Paul Krekorian said he had drafted the legislation one month after the 2013 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. The deadliest shooting at a school in U.S. history claimed the lives of 20 children and six adults.
“Los Angeles is now the largest city in California to ban the possession of large-capacity magazines,” Krekorian said. “These magazines may not be the cause of gun violence, but when shooters use them, tragedies turn into massacres.”
The councilman said in a statement that he was proud that LA had created the ordinance while lawmakers in Washington “shamefully sit on their hands.”
“Our city is now at the forefront of the national dialogue on how to promote gun safety and prevent gun violence, and I urge other cities, states and the federal government to join us,” he said.
In the last 10 years, one million people in the U.S. have been killed or injured by guns, the mayor’s office said in a statement.
The National Rifle Association and other gun advocates are threatening to challenge the law in court under the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and claim it is preempted by state law.
San Francisco and Sunnyvale have similar gun control laws that have so far survived legal challenges. New York passed a ban on high-capacity magazines after the Sandy Hook shooting.
The Mayor’s Office of Gang Reduction and Youth Development sponsors a gun buy-back program that has led to almost 13,700 firearms being taken off LA streets. The city council is also considering stricter rules for gun storage in homes.
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