LOS ANGELES -- California has some of the strictest gun laws in the nation, but one LA city councilmember believes there's even more that can be done to prevent large-scale gun crimes.
Currently, it's illegal to both manufacture and sell high-capacity ammunition magazines in California. Councilmember Paul Krekorian, who represents the North Hollywood, Studio City and Valley Glen neighborhoods, sees a gap that can be plugged locally.
In a council motion Tuesday, Krekorian asked law enforcement authorities to explore the possibility of banning the possession of high-capacity magazines within the city of Los Angeles, reports the Los Angeles Times.
"This gap in the law threatens public safety, because on the streets of Los Angeles, high-capacity magazines pose a daily threat to our citizens and police officers," said Krekorian in his motion. The councilmember's motion asks the City Attorney, the Chief Legislative Analyst and the Los Angeles Police Department to report on how to execute such an ordinance in LA.
Krekorian's motion begins by citing the 1997 North Hollywood shootout, known as one of the fiercest firefights in modern U.S. history. Two armed gunmen stormed a bank and engaged LAPD officers in a gun battle for 44 minutes. Responding police, armed only with pistols and shotguns, were almost no match for the bank robbers, who had Kalashnikov rifles, handguns, an HK-91 rifle, and an illegally modified automatic AR-15 rifle, notes law enforcement magazine Police.
"Like in North Hollywood, the AR-15 was capable of shooting 45 rounds per minute and was similar to weapons used at Columbine, Virginia Tech, Tucson, Aurora, and in other cities throughout the United States," said Krekorian about the Newtown tragedy.
Local governments across the United States are enacting their own gun ban laws in the wake of the Newtown shooting. On the same day Krekorian presented his motion, the state of New York passed the country's toughest gun restrictions. The new laws, which AP notes jump out ahead of the federal government's response, include an assault-weapons ban expansion and background checks for buying ammunition.
On the federal level, U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein has vowed to introduce a bill renewing the federal assault weapons ban on the first day of Congress. The bill would ban the sale, transfer, importation and possession of magazines with more than ten bullets, said Sen. Feinstein on NBC's "Meet The Press." In Los Angeles, all four mayoral candidates are in favor of renewing this federal ban, notes the Times.
Vice President Joe Biden is also working on a set of recommended gun laws, which will include universal background checks for all gun purchases, reports The Huffington Post.