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Councilman Orders Study On Proposed Ban On High-Capacity Ammo Magazines

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LA City Councilmember Paul Krekorian (credit: David Livingston/Getty Images)

LA City Councilmember Paul Krekorian (credit: David Livingston/Getty Images)

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LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A San Fernando Valley lawmaker has introduced a motion that could lead to a ban on the possession of high-capacity ammunition magazines within the city of Los Angeles.

In a motion introduced Tuesday, City Councilman Paul Krekorian referenced both the 1997 North Hollywood shootout in which two heavily armed gunmen stormed a local bank and attempted to overpower an outgunned LAPD and the Newtown, Connecticut massacre that took the lives of 26 children and adults in December.

Krekorian, a member of the Public Safety Committee, told KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO that a high-capacity assault rifle was used in both shootings.

“The penal code of California prohibits the sale, manufacture, and importation of high-capacity magazines, but there’s no prohibition on possession,” said Krekorian. “Of course, that puts law enforcement in a difficult bind when they come upon a person in possession of these because they have the burden of proving how they got them.”

The motion asks the City Attorney, the Chief Legislative Analyst and the Police Department to report on “the feasibility, effectiveness and benefits of an ordinance to prohibit the possession of high-capacity ammunition magazines within the City of Los Angeles.”

Krekorian, whose district includes Studio City, Valley Village and North Hollywood, acknowledged that “high-capacity magazines are not the cause of gun violence”, while at the same time calling for a “common sense” dialogue with gun rights advocates.

“There are a certain segment of the population – spurred on by the [National Rifle Association] – who feel that we shouldn’t do anything, and that we shouldn’t act, and that’s not going to deter us,” he said.

“There’s some people who feel they have a Second Amendment right to heavy artillery, and that’s ridiculous,” he added.

Gun Owners of California President Sam Paredes blasted the proposal, and said the so-called “government taking” clause of the Fifth Amendment of the Bill of Rights would require the city to pay owners fair market value for their high-capacity magazines if they became illegal to possess, which Paredes said would cost the cash-strapped city “tens of millions” of dollars.

Krekorian’s motion was introduced just one day before President Obama was expected to unveil a set of proposals for tougher gun control laws, including a mix of executive orders and legislation requiring Congressional approval.

The motion will next be heard in the Public Safety Committee before it returns to the full Council for consideration.

Click here (PDF) to read the entire text of Krekorian’s motion.

(©2012 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.)

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