City Council Adopts Safe Gun Storage Ordinance
On October 14, 2019, the City Council adopted an Ordinance repealing Culver City Municipal Code (CCMC) Subchapter 13.03.200 that requires firearms owners to store their firearms in locked containers or disable them with a trigger lock when storing them in their homes. The ordinance, which will go into effect on November 14, 2019, also calls for firearm retailers to post about suicide prevention and local laws in their facilities.The City’s Ordinance is in response to gun violence in the United States, which results in more than 80,000 non-fatal injuries and 30,000 homicides, suicides and accidental shootings annually. In 2012, the assailant that caused the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting shot and killed 26 people, including 20 children between the ages of 6 and 7 years old and six adults.The shooting renewed debate about gun control in the United States. In our country alone, there have been more than 200 school shootings nationwide, resulting in more than 138 people killed and 300 people injured. In 2017 and 2019, mass shootings took place at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL; the Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks, CA; and the Gilroy Garlic Festival in Gilroy, CA. And in August 2019, a wave of shootings took place over one weekend in El Paso, TX; Dayton, OH; and Chicago, IL–when nearly 40 people were killed and dozens more people were injured.
Additionally, violations of the proposed Ordinance would be prosecuted as a misdemeanor (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 (fire) a firearm in the City, with delineated exceptions, has been modified and carried over to the Ordinance. The newly-adopted ordinance, Culver City Municipal Code (CCMC) Subchapter 13.03.200, Firearms - Safe Storage, Shooting Requirements and Suicide Prevention, specifies that unless residents’ firearms are on their person or readily retrievable if not on their person, then they must be stored in locked containers or disabled with a trigger lock. The Ordinance also states that a person who reports a firearm lost or stolen will not be subject to prosecution for violation of the Ordinance.
California Penal Code
The newly adopted 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.