L.A. City Council votes to ban ‘ghost guns’

The Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to ban so-called ghost weapons, becoming a member of different massive California cities in cracking down on the untraceable, typically home made firearms that police say have proliferated within the metropolis in recent times.

The ordinance, which Mayor Eric Garcetti is anticipated to signal, bans the possession, sale, buy, receipt or transportation of firearms with out serial numbers, in addition to the elements used to make them. Violators may very well be fined as much as $1,000 and obtain as much as six months in jail.

“These guns should have no place in Los Angeles and have already wreaked havoc on our streets,” Councilman Paul Koretz stated throughout Tuesday’s assembly.

Ghost weapons are exempt from legal guidelines requiring background checks and ready intervals as a result of they’re offered as unfinished kits, in keeping with the movement launched by Koretz and Councilman Paul Krekorian.

“One of the most successful strategies this nation has adopted to reduce gun violence is background checks. … Background checks work,” Krekorian stated. “And yet, we now have an entire industry of manufacturers, the sole purpose of which is to evade background checks.”

The variety of ghost weapons seized by the Los Angeles Police Department has elevated by roughly 400% since 2017, with a good sharper uptick this 12 months, in keeping with an Oct. 19 report issued by the division. During the primary half of 2021, the division confiscated 863 ghost weapons, a virtually 300% improve over the 217 it seized throughout the identical interval final 12 months, in keeping with the report.

In that very same report, the LAPD described using ghost weapons as “an epidemic not only in Los Angeles but nationwide.”

California Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Alex Padilla weighed in to assist the ordinance earlier than its passage, calling it “an important effort” to assist preserve the weapons off the road, in a letter despatched final week to Council President Nury Martinez.

“Similar initiatives have already been implemented in San Diego and San Francisco, and we commend the Los Angeles City Council for considering a similar measure,” Feinstein and Padilla wrote. San Diego and San Francisco’s bans have been each authorized in September.

Efforts to stem the unfold of ghost weapons in California prolong past native laws.

In October, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed legislation that provides ghost weapons to the record of weapons that legislation enforcement can seize below gun violence or home violence restraining orders. Newsom also signed a law in 2019 that can require the sale of elements used to construct ghost weapons to be carried out by means of a licensed vendor, however that legislation received’t go into impact till 2024.

City Atty. Mike Feuer announced a city lawsuit against a major manufacturer of ghost gun parts, Polymer80, in February.

Times workers author Kevin Rector contributed to this report.

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