Acting on a motion by Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, Los Angeles County’s top public safety and health officials are poised to explore a range of options to address the recurring tragedy of mass shootings.
“The recent horrific events in San Bernardino are tragic reminders that the Board of Supervisors must ensure it is doing all that it can to prevent violence in the community and the workplace,” Supervisor Ridley-Thomas said in his motion, approved by the Board of Supervisors.
“The United States Supreme Court signaled that local governments have the legal authority to reasonably regulate the purchase of rapid-fire weapons, such as those used in recent mass shootings,” he added. “Now is the time to act.”
The motion sought recommendations from the Sheriff, District Attorney, County Counsel, Probation Chief, and leaders of the Health Agency and the Departments of Mental Health and Public Health.
It called for options to:
- expand currently successful department efforts or to implement new promising County programs that prevent violence;
- expand workplace safety protocols and practices and ensure they are adopted and implemented at all County facilities;
- expand gun buy-back programs;
- better enforce existing and/or adopt stricter gun control restrictions and penalties, especially related to the sale or possession of semiautomatic guns and military style assault weapons, including:
- further background checks on the sale of guns within Los Angeles County;
- requirements that gun purchasers also buy insurance (similar to car insurance) to cover any taxpayer expenses incurred from the injurious use of a gun;
- or taxes on ammunition and firearms; and
- State or Federal legislative options.
Earlier this month, the US Supreme Court refused to hear a Second Amendment challenge to an Illinois city’s 2013 ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines that can hold more than 10 rounds.
In July, Los Angeles city lawmakers banned the possession of high capacity magazines. Federal rulings in February and March upheld similar laws passed by the cities of Sunnyvale and San Francisco.
A federal assault weapons ban, including a prohibition on high-capacity magazines, covered weapons manufactured after September 13, 1994. It expired on September 4, 2004.