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LA County To Consider Expansive Gun Control Package

December 11, 2015

Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas wants to explore wide-sweeping gun control restrictions in response to last week’s shooting in San Bernardino. On Tuesday, December 15, 2015, he will present a motion to the Board of Supervisors directing county officials to explore a wide range of possible gun control measures and to report to the Board.

While the County has not yet indicated which proposals it might adopt, Ridley-Thomas quoted several options he’d like to explore, including:

  • Expanding “no questions asked” gun buyback programs;
  • Stricter regulations “related to sale or possession of semiautomatic guns and military-style assault weapons.”
  • Expanded background checks on the sale of guns within Los Angeles County;
  • Requirements that gun purchasers maintain insurance to cover any taxpayer expenses incurred from the “injurious use of a gun”; and
  • Special taxes on firearms and ammunition.

At this early stage, we have a unique opportunity to encourage the County to abandon its ill-conceived plan to enact local gun restrictions that are likely to offend various constitutional principles. But the Board of Supervisors needs to hear from you!

It is critical that you, and any gun rights supporter you know, attend the Board’s upcoming meeting and voice your opposition to more ineffective gun laws that only hurt law-abiding Los Angeles county citizens. The Board will take public comment regarding the matter on December 15 at 9:30 a.m. at 500 West Temple Street, Room 381B, Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration, Los Angeles, CA 90012. If it is more convenient, you can also testify to the Board remotely at the Lancaster Regional Library, 601 W. Lancaster Blvd., Lancaster, CA 93534.

If you cannot attend, contact the Board by email today. You can use the letter below to make your opposition known. Be sure to send your comments to all of the following: fifthdistrict@lacbos.org; firstdistrict@bos.lacounty.gov; markridley-thomas@bos.lacounty.gov; sheila@bos.lacounty.gov; don@bos.lacounty.gov.

SUBJECT: December 15, 2015 Agenda Item No. 5—OPPOSITION

While I applaud the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors for its efforts to promote public safety and to protect County employees in the workplace, I write to oppose Agenda Item No. 5.

Exploring options to expand workplace safety protocols and existing efforts to combat violence, eliminate hostile work environments, and support mental health programs are important steps.

At the same time, however, I strongly oppose any effort to expand local restrictions on firearms, including expanding background checks on firearm sales within L.A. County, requiring purchasers to maintain liability insurance, and imposing special taxes on firearms and ammunition. These proposals do little, if anything, to combat violence perpetrated by those unwilling to conform their behavior to the law. But, if adopted, they would impinge on law-abiding individuals’ fundamental rights. They thus raise significant constitutional questions, inviting costly litigation against the County.

I urge you to oppose Agenda Item No. 5., Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas’ motion entitled “Addressing Violence in the Community and the Workplace,” to the extent it seeks to expand local gun control and levy stricter penalties on otherwise lawful firearm ownership. Thank you for your consideration.

Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas wants to explore wide-sweeping gun control restrictions in response to last week’s shooting in San Bernardino. On Tuesday, December 15, 2015, he will present a motion to the Board of Supervisors directing county officials to explore a wide range of possible gun control measures and to report to the Board.

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