Los Angeles City Council this week voted to rescind its ban on ultracompact firearms after facing increasing pressure from pro-second amendment groups. Mayor Eric Garcetti is set to sign off the decision, which passed 12 to 0 without discussion at the city government office on Tuesday.
The restriction prevented licensed gun dealers from selling firearms less than 6.75 inches in length and 4.5 inches in height, associated standard capacity magazines, and also any holsters designed specifically for ultracompact weapons. Dealers were also required to report any sales of ultracompact handguns to police officers and any other buyers legally excluded from the ban.
California has the strictest gun-control laws in the country, including a statewide restriction on certain handguns. State gun laws use testing and so-called microstamping requirements to limit the types of handgun that can be sold. Currently less than 800 models are legally available under state regulations.
The restriction on ultracompact firearms came into force 16 years ago, with advocates claiming that the easily concealable weapon had become a popular tool among criminals. However, gun rights groups argued that women and disabled people benefited from the smaller-sized handgun as a means of protecting themselves from assailants.
As no one had actually been prosecuted under the restriction, the National Rifle Association and California Rifle and Pistol Association (CRPA) demanded that Los Angeles City Council repeal it, with attorneys from both organizations eventually threatening legal action against the city.
The two groups argued that the L.A. restrictions were pre-empted by state law and that the ban was merely preventing law-abiding citizens from using the ultracompact handguns for self-defense. Moreover, it had overwhelmingly failed to prevent criminals from using the weapons for robberies and other serious crimes.
According to a CRPA report this month, the NRA and CRPA are continuing to work together to challenge local gun control orders across the state of California. Through research and active monitoring of California’s local jurisdictions under a joint-venture known as the Local Ordinance Project (LOP), the two organizations intend to “oppose any proposed ordinance, law, or policy that threatens Second Amendment Rights”.
Following the vote to rescind the ban on ultracompact handguns, California Rifle and Pistol Association attorney Chuck Michel made the following statement:
”My clients are pleased that the city recognized that local governments cannot regulate in ways that conflict with or duplicate state laws.
We will continue to monitor local municipal codes throughout California and pursue the clean-up of these kinds of ineffective laws — which typically are never enforced once the initial press conferences are over.”
Steadfast defenders of the Second Amendment this year celebrated an end to the eight years of hostility towards gun ownership from the Obama administration. President Donald Trump has been candid in his support for the right of American people to bear arms. However, as demonstrated particularly in the coastal regions, at the federal level far too many restrictions still exist that flout the constitution and hinder US citizens’ essential right to self-defense.
The repeal of the California ultracompact handgun ban is another step forward for Second Amendment advocates and principally restores the rights of women and the disabled to protect themselves with smaller, more manageable weapons.