- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 29, 2015

It was already illegal to buy ammunition magazines holding more than 10 rounds in California, but soon those living in Los Angeles won’t be able to possess them either.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti says he will sign a measure passed by the city council that gives residents 60 days to turn in or otherwise get rid of ammunition magazines exceeding 10 rounds, even if they bought them before California’s assault weapons law went into effect in 2000.

“This action will prevent needless deaths locally and send an unmistakable message to leaders at all levels of government to step up and take action to #stopgunviolence,” said council member Paul Krekorian in a tweet after the 12-0 vote.

Gun rights advocates disagree with that analysis, saying that the ordinance amounts to a government “gun grab” that will do nothing to reduce violent crime.

“This city ordinance will have little impact on violent crime other than to impede the constitutional right of self-defense,” said Chuck Michel, the NRA’s attorney in California.

Sam Paredes, executive director of the Gun Owners of California, predicted the measure will likely result in mass confusion. While state law allows those who owned larger-than-10-round magazines before 2000 to keep them, they are barred from selling or transferring them.

“In Los Angeles, you have literally millions of these magazines in possession. Now they say if you’re in possession, you have to get rid of them,” Mr. Paredes said.

“Saying you can just sell them — well, you can’t sell them because then you’d be facing a worse penalty,” he said. “You have to turn them in to the government or destroy them.”

The ordinance will undoubtedly face a legal fight. Gun rights groups are already in court challenging similar measures passed in San Francisco and Sunnyvale.

“If the NRA wants to sue us over this, bring it on,” Mr. Krekorian told a cheering crowd outside city hall.

Supporters of gun rights also object to the description of magazines that hold more than 10 rounds as “high capacity” or “large capacity,” noting that a 10-round magazine is actually standard in the industry, or even on the low side.

Mr. Paredes pointed to the Beretta 92, a popular handgun used by law enforcement as well as private owners, that comes standard with a 12-round magazine. Same with the Glock 17, which comes with a 17-rounder.

“It’s a silly argument to think that this is going to prevent crimes being committed by limiting magazines,” Mr. Paredes said. “Experience has taught us that criminals can get anything they want any time they want. This is really aimed at law-abiding citizens.”

Supporters of the Los Angeles measure argue that getting rid of ammunition magazines over 10 rounds is necessary to reduce mass shootings, such as the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre, in which the gunman’s weapons included a pistol with a 15-round magazine.

Foes of gun control laws point to other mass killers who didn’t use magazines with more than 10 rounds, such as the 2014 Isla Vista perpetrator, as well as situations in which legally armed citizens were able to prevent crimes.

“The reality is that members of the city council are rabidly anti-gun, do not like the Second Amendment, do not believe law-abiding citizens should be able to have guns,” Mr. Paredes said. “So they pass these meaningless laws.”


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