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California: City of Los Angeles’ Magazine Confiscation Ordinance Heading to Mayor’s Office

Thursday, July 30, 2015

California: City of Los Angeles’ Magazine Confiscation Ordinance Heading to Mayor’s Office

Call Mayor Eric Garcetti TODAY urging him NOT to sign this ineffective ordinance into law!

In 2013, the Los Angeles City Council proposed an ordinance declaring magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition (so-called “large-capacity magazines”) a “public nuisance” subject to confiscation and destruction. Though not directly prohibiting their possession, the initial proposal’s ultimate objective was to remove currently legal magazines from the hands of countless Los Angeles gun owners. Emboldened by recent moves to flatly ban the possession of such magazines in San Francisco and Sunnyvale, however, Los Angeles City Attorney presented an amended ordinance in June 2014, banning “large-capacity magazines” within city limits and criminalizing the transportation of such magazines through the city. 

The amended ordinance will not prevent violent crime or mass shootings, but it does sadly limit the Second Amendment right of law-abiding gun owners to choose to use these magazines to defend themselves and their families.  As most gun owners already know, magazines holding more than 10 rounds are standard equipment for many popular pistols and rifles. And they are possessed by millions of law-abiding Americans for a variety of lawful purposes, including self-defense.  The City of Los Angeles’ magazine prohibition affects lawful gun owners’ ability to defend themselves, especially in situations potentially requiring more than 10 shots.

Unfortunately, on Tuesday, July 28, 2015, the City Council voted unanimously to adopt the amended, yet still useless, version and to send it to the Mayor for his approval, which the Mayor has indicated he is eager to do. Please contact Mayor Garcetti TODAY urging him NOT to sign this unproductive ordinance into law.  Email the Mayor at mayor.garcetti@lacity.org and/or call the Mayor at (213) 978-0600.

If the ordinance is signed into law, people who currently possess magazines over 10 rounds will have a 60-day grace period to transfer those magazines in accordance with state law, remove them from the city, or turn them over to the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD). Because this ordinance does not provide an exemption for self-defense, you should carefully consider your best alternative options.

What Is Considered a “Large Capacity Magazine”

Los Angeles’ definition of a “large-capacity magazine” is identical to that found in California Penal Code section 16740. This includes any ammunition feeding device with the capacity to accept more than 10 rounds.There are three notable exceptions: 

1)  Any feeding device that has been permanently altered so that it cannot hold more than 10 rounds;

2)  Any .22 caliber tube ammunition feeding device; and

3)  Any tubular magazine that is contained in a lever-action firearm.

This definition is applicable whether the magazine is assembled or disassembled.  There are also several uses and categories of individuals that are exempt from the magazine ban. Those exemptions can be viewed here (page 6).

You may store your magazines outside of Los Angeles. Be aware, however, that storing your magazines with friends or family outside of Los Angeles may qualify as an “unlawful transfer” under state law.  

Help Stop These Laws from Passing in Other Jurisdictions

The anti-Second Amendment crowd has made clear its intention to continue pushing anti-gun billionaire Michael Bloomberg’s agenda throughout California. Sunnyvale’s Mayor claims that residents from several neighboring cities, including Mountain View and Los Altos, have already reached out to him to push the same or similar measures in their cities. Former state Assemblywoman Sally Lieber claims the campaign for gun control in Mountain View has already begun. And with Los Angeles taking this bold step, it is becoming even more likely that other California cities will follow suit.   

You can assist in the fight to defend gun owners’ rights in California courts by donating to the NRA Legal Action Project today. For a summary of some of the many actions the NRA has taken on behalf of California gun owners, including the tremendous recent victory in the Peruta case, click here.

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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.