he Los Angeles City Council voted Tuesday to end a long-standing ban on the sale of “ultracompact” firearms, rolling back the rule in the face of legal threats from gun rights groups.If you judged Los Angeles by what you see from Hollywood, you might be forgiven for thinking the City of Angels prefers its angels heavily armed. The reality, however, couldn’t be more different. The state of California is incredibly hostile to the Second Amendment, even going so far as to create restrictions on ammunition.
There is a bright spot on the horizon. Apparently, L.A. was set to repeal its ban on small, easily concealable firearms.
For more than a decade and a half, Los Angeles has banned the sale of “ultracompact” guns, which lawmakers feared could be more easily hidden by criminals.
Now the city is poised to eliminate that rule in the face of legal warnings from the National Rifle Assn. and the California Rifle & Pistol Assn., which say that the city restrictions have been preempted by state law.
L.A.’s longstanding ban prohibits firearm dealers in the city from selling smaller guns that measure up to 6.75 inches in length and 4.5 inches in height, as well as holsters to carry them.
It also requires dealers to keep records of any sales of ultracompact guns to police officers and other buyers who are not covered by the ban.
Banning sales of ultracompact guns was championed by gun control groups such as Women Against Gun Violence and City Atty. Mike Feuer, who was serving as a city councilman when the law was passed in 2001.
Gun rights groups opposed the ban, arguing that the law would hurt women and disabled gun owners who need smaller weapons to defend themselves from attackers. One gun owner told city lawmakers that the measure should be renamed the “Criminal Home Invasion Protection Ordinance.”
Since then, the NRA and the California Rifle & Pistol Assn. have repeatedly demanded that L.A. abolish the ban.
The problem with a ban like this is that it has absolutely no impact on crime. It never has, it never will. As Nick Leghorn at The Truth About Guns notes:
The impact of the law can be seen years later. Or, rather, the lack of impact. Murders in the city have fallen in recent years, but that rate is in keeping with the overall declining crime rate in the United States. It had nothing to do with the specific gun laws in California. Even in this overall peaceful time crime is once again on the rise in Los Angeles despite the existence of these gun control laws. So, at best, the laws had no impact and at worst they turned citizens into victims.
He’s right. Just because violent crime rates decline, that doesn’t mean the law had any effect. The Assault Weapon Ban was defended left and right because violent crime rates had dropped…until people saw that violent crime rates had been dropping before the ban went into effect and they have continued to drop since the ban lapse. It’s the same with this ban on subcompact firearms.
Besides, regardless of any ban, it’s not like criminals can’t get their hands on them. CBS found convicted felons, a group banned from owning any firearms at all, could get their hands on them easily enough in Chicago, a city with some of the toughest gun control laws anywhere in the country. It’s highly unlikely that L.A. could successfully ban these weapons anyway.
At least now the city appears to be looking at reality for a moment and repealing their previous stupidity.
Now maybe we can talk about this whole “may issue” permit situation.
Edited to add that yesterday afternoon, the L.A. city council actually did something that benefitted gun rights advocates for once:
The council voted 12 to 0 without discussion Tuesday to eliminate the ban, with Council Members Joe Buscaino, Paul Krekorian and Nury Martinez absent. Mayor Eric Garcettiwill sign off on the decision, according to his staff.