Calabasas City Council pledges to support stronger gun control legislation

Evan Krask - Staff Writer

On Jan. 9 the Calabasas City Council voted to support both the Fix Gun Checks Act and the reinstatement of the Federal Assault Weapons Ban.  The council also supported the Mayors Against Illegal Guns coalition, a group of mayors across the United States who come together to support various regulatory gun acts.

These two acts enforce previous Calif. gun control laws rather than create new ones.  They will monitor the distribution of weapons to dangerous individuals and prohibit the sale and production of semi-automatic guns or military style assault-rifles.

“These bills are necessary in order to keep Calif. and Calabasas safe from [criminals],” said junior Taylor Snook.  “The state needs to take these precautions to prevent any [catastrophes].”

N.Y. Senator Chuck Schumer introduced the Fix Gun Checks Act in 2011 to Congress and Calif. Senator Diane Feinstein proposed the Federal Assault Weapons ban to Congress in early January.

The Federal Assault Weapons Ban ended in 2004 and was not reenacted because it did have enough support.  As a result, the ban could not be reenacted for 10 years. The law specifically prohibits the sale and production of semi-automatic weapons or firearms that are capable of holding a detachable magazine.  With the ban still void today, citizens can legally purchase semi-automatic weapons and magazines that can hold over ten rounds of ammunition.

Supporters of the Federal Assault Weapons Ban have tried to renew it numerous times, but no bill has reached the House of Representatives for a vote.  The Mayors Against Illegal Guns coalition is currently in the process of raising enough support for the bill to pass through congress.

The Fix Gun Checks Act pays specific attention to the individual who wants to purchase a weapon.  The act requires that all criminals who are prohibited from buying weapons be listed in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.  The act also requires an extensive background check using this system before every firearm sale.  With this legislation in place, any mentally ill individuals or criminals will be prohibited from buying all types of firearms, including but not limited to semi-automatic weapons.

“As this is pending federal legislation, there is no enforcement at this time,” said Calabasas City Council member Lucy Martin.  “If it were to be passed, this federal law would be enforced like all others through the cooperation of county, state and federal law enforcement.”

If these bills become federal legislation they will be put into effect later this year.  Members of the Mayors Against Illegal Weapons coalition have made the decision to support these bills in order to protect schools and communities from dangerous situations