On Day of Socal Mass Shooting, L.A. Relaxes Gun Law

The mass shooting in San Bernardino yesterday has renewed calls for stricter gun control.

President Obama, who, like the vast majority of Los Angeles City Council members, is a Democrat, urged Congress to pass "common-sense gun safety laws."

The council's recent ban on ammunition magazines that can hold more than 10 rounds might fit that definition.

But on the day that the world mourned the death of 14 people killed by two shooters with assault-type rifles, handguns and multiple clips of ammo, city leaders actually relaxed this law, allowing exemptions for special people.

Who are these special people? Police, of course. Or, rather, retired cops and reserve officers, who are volunteers. City Councilman Mitch Englander is one of the latter.

In an 11-4 vote the council allowed the special carve-out for former and sometime cops. Nury Martinez, Mike Bonin, Paul Koretz and David Ryu opposed the deal.

Some supporters of the carve-out say that giving these folks the ability to shoot and shoot often can help provide some defense against the nation's mass-shooting epidemic.

Councilman Mitch O'Farrell, for example, said, "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."

Opponents argued that the law should be the law for everyone and that there's no data to support the idea that we're all safer if these cops and former cops have high-capacity magazines.

The way things are going, unfortunately, we'll probably find out. 

-With reporting from City News Service


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