L.A. Gun Lockup Law Passes as City Sued Over High-Cap Mag Ban

photo from nbclosangeles.com.

As the Los Angeles City Council moves ahead with a new requirement for guns to be locked away in homes, a group of 30 sheriffs from around the state have sued the city over an ordinance passed in July that bans any magazine that holds more than 10 rounds.

The California Rifle and Pistol Association is joining the sheriffs in the suit, which intends to block the ordinance which only provides exemptions for law enforcement, museum collections, gunsmiths, entertainment productions. Residents of the city who possess magazines covered by the ordinance will have to surrender them by November 18. Anyone caught violating the law after it passes will be subject to misdemeanor prosecution, according to this story from allgov.com.

The suit argues that the law ordinance violates California law. The state passed a bill in 1999 (Senate Bill 23) blocked residents from obtaining magazines that hold more than 10 rounds, but grandfathered in people who already owned them.

"There are literally tens of thousands of these magazines in existence throughout California that can be legally owned—and current state law allows them to be possessed," Shasta County Sheriff Tom Bosenko told the Los Angeles Times.

On Tuesday, the city council voted unanimously to require handguns to be stored in locked containers or disabled with a trigger lock as a safety measure against the weapons being handled or used by people who shouldn't have access to them, according to this story from NBC.com.

Councilman Paul Krekorian, who authored the measure, said the law means "we can once and for all mandate that people who own guns—people who have guns in their homes for safety—just exercise the basic, common-sense safety storage measures that even the National Rifle Association recommends."

The law allows firearms to be carried by the owner or an authorized person over 18 if it's not locked up, to allow actions such as cleaning the gun, the story says.

Krekorian said the intent of the law is to make sure the guns are always in a person's control whenever they aren't disabled or locked away.

Lawmakers admitted that the law is pretty much unenforceable and that there won't be any "comprehensive dragnets" to enforce it. It will most likely come into play after the fact if an accidental shooting or gun theft occurs. Once signed by Mayor Eric Garcetting, the law will go into effect after 30 days.

In addition to the magazine limit, members of the city council are proposing a gun and ammunition tax within the city, much like Seattle.