The Los Angeles City Council voted Tuesday to ban the possession of high-capacity gun magazines in the wake of several mass shootings across the country in which victims were killed or injured by guns that can quickly fire off several bullets at once without the gunman needing to reload.
The ordinance will prohibit possession of magazines with more than 10 rounds. Anyone already possessing such magazines would need to remove them from the city, give them up to the Los Angeles Police Department to be destroyed, or sell or transfer the magazines according to state law.
The National Rifle Association has vowed to fight the ban.
Supporters of the ordinance packed council chambers Tuesday.
Rhonda Foster, whose 7-year-old son, Evan, was shot and killed by gang members using automatic weapons, urged the City Council to ban large capacity ammunition magazines.
“If it had been a low-capacity weapon, who knows what would’ve happened. Evan might still be here today to dote over his brother,” said Foster.
The vote comes after a recent effort by Councilman Paul Krekorian to take the issue to the full council after it languished in committee for the past two years.
“People who are civilians, people who want to defend their homes, people who want to defend their families don’t need a hundred-round drum magazine and an automatic weapon to do it,” Krekorian said.
Many of the recent high-profile shootings nationwide, especially those with high death and injury counts, have involved guns that use firearms with large-capacity magazines.
At the meeting Tuesday, the city council also narrowly approved a last-minute amendment request by Councilman Mitch Englander that will exempt retired police officers with permits to carry concealed weapons.
That amendment will be considered next week.
The magazine restrictions are just one of several gun control measures moving through City Hall.
“In the wake of the recent Chattanooga tragedy and far too many horrific school shootings, it’s time for government at all levels to step up and do what’s necessary to prevent gun violence,” Krekorian said in a written statement.
Krekorian had also wanted another “gun safety” rule — requiring guns kept at home to be stored away in a locked container — also to be brought to the full council, but after some opposition, it will now go first to the Public Safety Committee for study and debate.
Gun control groups say the gun storage measure is needed to ensure that children do not easily get access to dangerous firearms.