LOS ANGELES (CNS) — The Los Angeles City Council unanimously voted Tuesday, Jan 18, to support a California Assembly bill aimed at increasing awareness among educators, students and families about the state’s firearm laws.
Assembly Bill 452 would require school districts, county offices of education and charter schools across the state to inform parents and guardians of students at the beginning of each semester or quarter, or when a transfer student enrolls, about the state’s laws to ensure the safe storage of firearms and to prevent children from accessing guns.
The resolution to support the bill notes that 75% of school shootings are perpetrated by a student who has access to unsecured or unsupervised firearms at home, and more than 80% of teens who kill themselves with a gun used one that belonged to a person in their home.
“Many of these incidents involved children whose parents were either unaware or unobservant of state and local laws concerning the ownership and handling of firearms,” according to the resolution, introduced by Councilmember Paul Koretz.
The motion was seconded by council members Paul Krekorian and Kevin de Leon.
Koretz spoke ahead of the vote about the increase in firearms in the state during the COVID-19 pandemic, saying that more than a million new guns were registered in 2020 in California alone and handgun sales increased by 65% over the previous year’s sales.
“The prevalence of guns of course brings an increase in gun violence and suicides,” Koretz said.
AB 452 — which was introduced by Assemblywoman Laura Friedman, D-Glendale — is pending in the Appropriations Committee after advancing out of the Education Committee on Jan. 12.
“While it won’t solve all of our problems, it’s one more tool in our toolbox to help deal with the almost exponential increase in gun violence that we’ve seen over the last couple of years,” Koretz added.