- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 3, 2015

The Los Angeles City Council agreed Wednesday to exempt retired police officers from a ban on possessing high-capacity magazines — just moments after a rampage in neighboring San Bernardino reignited calls for gun reform.

Wednesday’s 11-4 vote means retired and reserve Los Angeles Police Department officers needn’t adhere to a recently adopted law that prohibits ownership of magazines capable of holding 10 rounds of ammunition or more.

The initial ban was adopted in July following a 12-0 City Council vote, but the local police union has been pushing since then for an exception that would apply to retired and reserve officers.

“Having retired police officers who are trained — [in] many cases for 30 years or more — to be able to provide for public safety, to save lives, is something that the police department is absolutely in favor of,” LAPD Deputy Chief of Detectives Kirk Albanese told the council, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Mitch O’Farrell, one of 11 council members to approve the exemption, agreed.

“I am of the firm belief that once a cop, always a cop,” he said. “We live in a very dangerous world in a very over-armed society here in the United States. I feel much more secure with reserve officers and retired police officers being out and about in this dangerous world, fully equipped to handle emergency situations that spring up out of nowhere and I don’t need to elaborate on any of those.”

Wednesday’s vote occurred just moments after news reports of a mass shooting in San Bernardino, about 60 miles east of Los Angeles. Authorities say two individuals used four guns, an improvised explosive device and several magazines of ammunition to kill 14 people.

The rampage — reportedly the 355th mass shooting this year — prompted President Obama to take to the airwaves later in the day and urge lawmakers to consider “common sense gun safety laws.”

“We have a pattern now of mass shootings in this country that has no parallel anywhere else in the world,” Mr. Obama told CBS News. “And there’s some steps we could take, not to eliminate every one of these mass shootings, but to improve the odds that they don’t happen as frequently, common-sense gun safety laws, stronger background checks.”

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is required to sign off on the exemptions since it was not unanimously approved during the council hearing, but a spokesperson told reporters Wednesday that his approval is imminent.

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