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City Council Adopts Safe Gun Storage Ordinance

SW
by Shelly Wolfberg10/18/2019 12:00 AM
Updated: 10/18/2019

gun safety storageOn October 14, 2019, the City Council adopted an Ordinance repealing Culver City Municipal Code (CCMC) Subchapter 13.03.200, Firearms, and replacing it with new Subchapter 13.03.200, Firearms - Safe Storage, Shooting Requirements and Suicide Prevention, to require all firearms located in a residence to be kept in a locked container or disabled with a trigger lock, and for all firearm retailers to post signage about suicide prevention.

Gun violence in the United States results in over 80,000 non-fatal injuries and 30,000 deaths annually, including homicides, suicides, and accidental shootings. In 2012, the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting occurred, where the assailant shot and killed 26 people, including 20 children between six and seven years old, and six adult staff members. The single gunman used his mother's rifle and ten magazines with 30 rounds each. The shooting prompted renewed debate about gun control in the United States. In the United States, there have been more than 200 school shootings nationwide with more than 138 people killed and another more than 300 people injured, devastating communities and leaving emotional wounds. In 2017 and 2019, mass shootings took place at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida; the Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks; the Gilroy Garlic Festival, and a wave of other shootings in one August 2019 weekend in El Paso, Texas, Dayton, Ohio, and Chicago, Illinois, resulting in the deaths of nearly 40 people with dozens more injured.

The new Culver City Municipal Code Subchapter 13.03.200, Firearms - Safe Storage, Shooting Requirements and Suicide Prevention, requires those persons who keep firearms in their homes to store them in locked containers or disable them with a trigger lock, unless the firearm is on their person or in the immediate control of their person so they can readily retrieve and use the firearm. The Ordinance also provides that a person who reports a firearm lost or stolen with a law enforcement agency will not be subject to prosecution for violation of the Ordinance with regard to the firearm that is reported lost or stolen. Violations of the proposed Ordinance would be prosecuted as a misdemeanor, as provided in Culver City Municipal Code Section 1.01.035, or at the discretion of the City Attorney, reduced to an infraction. The Ordinance also requires Culver City firearm retailers to display information at point of sale about local firearm laws, suicide warning signs, and Los Angeles County-approved resources for suicide prevention. The provision requiring permission to discharge a firearm in the City, with delineated exceptions, has been modified and carried over to the Ordinance.

The City of Culver City also believes that publicizing suicide prevention information in locations likely to be visited by those considering suicide by gun will help reduce this shocking and sad statistic.

California Penal Code 

The proposed Ordinance is consistent with the California Penal Code, Part 6-Control of Deadly Weapons, Title 4-Firearms, Division 4-Storage of Firearms, Chapter 2-Criminal Storage of Firearm.