County supervisors call for gun control measures

Wave Wire Services

LOS ANGELES — The county Board of Supervisors unanimously directed its attorneys June 14 to investigate potential gun-control measures that could be implemented locally.

“There’s no doubt that we’re facing a gun violence epidemic in our nation,” Supervisor Janice Hahn, who introduced the motion asking for the report, told her colleagues. “There’s simply too many guns out in our communities.”

The motion calls for county attorneys to explore possible regulations, such as increasing the required age to purchase a long gun from 18 to 21, enacting a safe-storage ordinance similar to one in place in the city of Los Angeles, creating buffer zones between schools and gun stores and banning people who are on the federal no-fly list from purchasing guns.

Hahn referenced gun-control rallies that were held across the country over the weekend, including in downtown Los Angeles. She said students and parents are “begging those of us who can to take action against gun violence.”

“I wanted to take a look at what we could do as county supervisors here in Los Angeles County,” she said, calling for a list of “common-sense gun measures that we can enact here at the local level that would save lives.”

The board unanimously backed her motion.

“We know that each shooting takes somebody’s life away, and we have to go way beyond this now, and I do believe this motion will help us get there,” Supervisor Hilda Solis said.

The motion also asks county staff to explore what it would take to enable the county Department of Public Health to declare gun violence a public health emergency. It also adds the county’s voice in support of bipartisan gun legislation being considered in Congress.

The board’s action came three days after hundreds of Angelenos marched in downtown Los Angeles June 11 against gun violence and in support of increased gun regulations.

The march, which began at Grand Park, was one of hundreds nationwide. It was followed by a rally outside City Hall.

The L.A. March for Our Lives was prompted by a recent spate of mass shootings that included an elementary school in Uvalde Texas, and a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, that left a total of 31 people dead. The nationwide movement was inspired by students after the 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, that resulted in 17 deaths.

“Students are here leading this march and every other march across this country today because our futures are at stake and our generation is at stake,” Shaadi Ahmadzadeh, 19, a UC Berkeley student and a co-organizer of the event, told the Los Angeles Times. She called for universal background checks, an increase in the age for legal gun possession from 18 to 21 and a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines.

“I remind you, this movement here is led by students, not by politicians, by students like me,” she told the newspaper. “We are the ones who have to go through the active shooter drills every semester. We are the ones who wake up in the morning and wonder if our school is next. We are the ones who go off to college or into the workforce and text our younger siblings to make sure they’ve made it home that night.”

Hassan Piker called for the banning of military style assault weapons and told the crowd there were now more guns in circulation than people in the country. Studies show there are 6 guns for every 5 people in the U.S.

NBC4 reported there have been 41 mass shooting events in the three weeks since the attack on Robb Elementary School in Uvalde.

Another man told the crowd there was nothing in the Constitution that guaranteed a right to own assault weapons.

The U.S. House of Representatives has passed a sweeping gun regulation bill that experts say appears doomed in the Senate. Meanwhile, a bipartisan group of senators is trying to work out a compromise on gun legislation that would include so-called red-flag laws, background checks and age requirements.