City Council Wants Legal OK To Ban ‘Open Carry’ Gun Rights

Garcetti cites recent shooting scares

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Los Angeles lawmakers on Friday began exploring whether the city can ban the carrying of exposed handguns in public places — a proposal that quickly drew fire from gun-rights advocates.

A motion by City Council President Eric Garcetti, seconded by six of his colleagues, directed the City Attorney’s Office to look into the legality of prohibiting “open carry” firearms within Los Angeles city limits.

California law permits the carrying of legally owned unloaded handguns in a holster. Ammunition may be carried separately on the holster, allowing a gun to be loaded in an instant, according to Garcetti’s office.

“Recent incidents in Los Angeles and Tucson remind us all of the ìdevastating impact that gun violence has on families and communities,” Garcetti said. “The open carry of a handgun can be intimidating and threaten public safety.”

Garcetti noted there have been three shootings in or near local schools this week. A Gardena High School student’s gun discharged in a classroom on Tuesday, injuring two students.

On Wednesday, a gunman wounded a school police officer near El Camino Real High School in Woodland Hills, and a 15-year-old boy was wounded in a shooting near Bell High School.

“An open carry ban in the city would serve the greater good by limiting the public’s exposure to firearms and conserving already strained police officer resources,” Garcetti said.

Ann Reiss Lane, chair emeritus of Women Against Gun Violence, also called for the ban.

” I don’t wish to live in a country in which people carry guns to intimidate me,” she said. “There is no reason to carry an unloaded weapon other than intimidation.”

But Sam Paredes, executive director of Gun Owners of America, said such a ban is “contrary to state law” and vowed to “challenge it every way we can.”

“In fact, there has never been a crime committed by an open carrier in California that’s been recorded, this has been a right that we’ve had since California became a state,” he said. “With budget cuts and police officers and sheriff’s deputies laid off or numbers reduced, people have only one ability to protect themselves and that is to do it themselves.”

Early last year, open carry advocates began gathering at Starbucks coffee shops in Northern California, after San Francisco-based Peet’s Coffee & Tea and Los Angeles-based California Pizza Kitchen adopted policies banning people from carrying firearms in their stores and restaurants.

Assemblyman Anthony Portantino, D-La Canada Flintridge, has introduced a bill seeking to ban open-carry weapons statewide.

(©2010 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

  • Martin

    Ann Reiss Lane, everyone is out to get you. Are you that paranoid? It’s the people that are concealing illegally that you should worry about because those are the ones that carry to intimidate. “…conserving already strained police officer resources,” Garcetti said.” Exactly why some open carry. I hardly see any patrol cars in my area yet I still pay high taxes.

  • matt

    an armed society is a polite society.

    • kls

      That’s the long and short of it….

  • swhitS

    Gee, what have you done to think that everyone wants to get ya Reiss Lane? You got something to hide?
    If perhaps you were able to protect yourself when whoever gave you that good head beating you may be able to still think straight! Stupid to think that violence is going to go away because good people can no longer wear weapons on the street. People get them illegally from illegals, druggies, gangs and real criminals it will not stop.
    You would do better if you went after gangs instead of honest citizens trying to protect their own!

  • Robert S.

    Ban “open carry”? You got to be kidding! People need to guard this right big time!

  • Robert S>

    With hundreds of cops being layed off, you need this right to stay in place! Times have changed! It is just plain stupid to ban “open carry”!

  • Robert S.

    None of the shootings have been linked to people that are law abiders! The politicians

  • Robert S.

    are full of it! People need to heed the headlines, and show the city leaders are just not adding up the facts! Your rights can go down the toilet, if you let them make the wrong decissions.

  • Robert S.

    Guns don’t kill people,……people kill people!. Banning guns for good citizens means means crooks will carry, even if they were to pass the ban. Now tell me how stupid the politicians really are?

  • Rick

    What a joke Eric Garcetti is going to free the city of Los Angeles of crime all by himself I’m sure all criminals are going to be afraid if this were to pass drive by shootings and armed robberys would come to a halt and kids would be Very afraid to carry loaded weapon’s to school…. The city of Los Angeles has much more Important Issues to resolve but by working on unimportant issue as this maybe the 800 pound Gorilla that looms around the council chambers will some how go away.the deficit and the over spending, pension reform and so on will be put on the back burner so that the city council will find yet another way to punish the law abiding citizen.

  • frank carson

    people need to wake the police are not here to protect nor the government.this country was build on the right to bear arms,if you take that right away you will destroy America.who stopped the shooter in Az. not the police but the people.the people are the ones who run this country not the police,not the government,they work for the people.its time to be a America s again and stand up for the rights of America.We the people by the People for the People that what America was.

  • swhit

    When you advocate taking away guns you advocate martial law because that is exactly what would happen given the present and future outcome of this cities financials.

  • wobbles

    No dude, the police are not “here to take your guns”. That’d be the politicians. The police are saddled with enforcing the laws and regulations that the politicians—-people you and I elect– force down our throats.They have the daunting task of enforcing laws they often do not agree with, or that make little or no sense.They don’t have the option of picking and choosing what to enforce. So seriously, aim your paranoid anger in the right direction.

  • Yih-Chau Chang

    While I understand the gut wrenching reaction that a national tragedy like the Tuscon shooting has in the minds of the American people, it might be prudent to take a few moments to sort out the facts, especially in relation to such a highly controversial topic such as gun control. Too often, emotionally charged, knee-jerk reactions can fuel the fire towards over reacting or even capitalizing on a national tragedy to further a floundering political agenda. Such is the case with California politicians who wish to use this Arizona tragedy to ban Open Carry in California through AB 144.

    The question we should be asking ourselves as law-abiding Californians is this: Given the dire economic outlook we are facing as a State and the resulting conditions that have a clearly demonstrated detrimental effect on public safety (Open Carry advocates have never once committed a violent crime in the entire 160 year history of California and any perceived threat that the Open Carry Movement presents is, therefore, purely speculative conjecture), is now the time to make sure that only violent criminals will be armed while leaving all common, law-abiding citizens completely unarmed and defenseless in a public setting?

    Due to the California Budget Crisis, 13,400 convicted felons will be released early from prison into society between now and the end of 2011.

    Also due to the California Budget Crisis, over 1000 police officers have been laid off in 2009.

    As anyone who has paid attention to the news knows, many more law enforcement personnel were laid off in 2010 up and down the entire State of California. For example, Vallejo and Oakland, two of the Bay Area’s hardest hit cities in police layoffs in 2010 clearly have a violent crime problem that is among the worst in the State and the nation.

    By banning Open Carry in California, are we trying to ensure that violent criminals have every possible advantage when victimizing innocent and defenseless victims in a public setting?

    I am certain that everyone has the same interest in preserving public safety during these very difficult economic times. Let’s take a proven method of reducing violent crime–common, law-abiding citizens being armed in a public setting, and allow this practice to help keep criminals at bay. For a look at the phenomenon of an armed general populace and its effect on violent crime from the academics, take a look at this video.

    For independent confirmation of Dr. John R. Lott, Jr.’s findings, one has to look no further than the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy.

    The Mauser-Kates Study, “Would Banning Firearms Reduce Murder and Suicide? A Review of International Evidence”, was academically peer reviewed and then published on Volume 30, Number 2 of the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy (pp. 649-694).

    A few key quotes will clearly demonstrate the point that common, law-abiding citizens who choose to be armed in a public setting do have an effect on violent crime rates in society.

    “Whether gun availability be viewed as a cause or as a mere coincidence, the long term macrocosmic evidence is that gun ownership spread widely throughout societies consistently correlates with stable or declining murder rates. This pattern simply cannot be squared with the mantra that more guns = more death and fewer guns = less. Whether causative or not, the consistent international pattern is that more guns = less murder and other violent crime.” (Page 33)

    “As of 2006, 40 states have adopted laws under which guns became vastly more available to law abiding, responsible adults, i.e., 3.5 million Americans are legally entitled not just to keep guns in their homes but to carry concealed handguns with them wherever they go. But this has not resulted in more murder or violent crime in these states. Rather adoption of these statutes has been followed by very significant reduction in murder and violence in those states.” (Pages 14-15)

    “Over a decade ago University of Washington public health professor Brandon Centerwall undertook an extensive, statistically sophisticated study comparing areas in the U.S. and Canada to determine whether Canada’s much more restrictive policies had better contained criminal violence. When he published his results it was with the admonition:

    If you are surprised by my findings, so are we. We did not begin this research with any intent to “exonerate” handguns, but there it is — a negative finding, to be sure, but a negative finding is nevertheless a positive contribution. It directs us where NOT to aim public health resources” (Pages 98-99)

    (Study by Brandon Centerwall referenced above is called, “Homicide and the Prevalence of Handguns: Canada and the United States, 1976 to 1980”, published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, Vol. 134 No. 11:1245-1260)

    Hopefully, this information sheds some light on the facts regarding the emotionally charged topic of gun control during a time of national tragedy and helps to foster a calm and level-headed discussion moving forward.

  • Nace Benveniste

    ok listen up i don;t carry a ti kill people . i carry a gun to keep from getting killed.
    i don’t carry a gun to scare people . i carry a gun because sometimes this world can be a scary place.
    i don’t carry a gun because i m paranoid i carry a gun because there are real threats in the whorl . i don’t carry a gun because i love it . i carry a gun because i love life and the people in it. i don’ carry a gun because i feel inadequate. i carry a gun cecause unarmed and facing three armed thugs , i am inadequate.

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