California is a prime battleground for the Second Amendment. The state continues to be the most reluctant to allow its citizens to exercise their constitutionally protected right to keep and bear firearms, often to its own detriment in recent legal battles. Now it looks like Los Angeles is voluntarily backing down and repealing one of those restrictive laws because they know it’s a battle they can no longer win.
Back in 2001 Los Angeles passed a law banning the sale of “ultra concealable” handguns. The theory was that it would reduce gang violence, since concealable handguns are the typical weapon of choice for committing crimes. “It’s another step in the fight for gun control in our gun-crazed society” said Councilwoman Rita Walters at the time. There’s just one minor problem: stopping the sale of firearms in one specific city doesn’t stop them from existing. And as an addendum, criminals don’t care about laws so passing one more doesn’t impact them.
What the law did do was successfully make it much harder for law abiding citizens to purchase concealable handguns for concealed carry roles, something that would have provided some protection against criminals. In short, the law was nothing more than a “feel good” knee-jerk reaction that made it harder for good people to defend themselves and did nothing to actually reduce crime.
The impact of the law can be seen years later. Or, rather, the lack of impact. Murders in the city have fallen in recent years, but that rate is in keeping with the overall declining crime rate in the United States. It had nothing to do with the specific gun laws in California. Even in this overall peaceful time crime is once again on the rise in Los Angeles despite the existence of these gun control laws. So, at best, the laws had no impact and at worst they turned citizens into victims.
There’s good news, though, as LA is about to repeal this law and allow “ultra concealable” guns to be sold within city limits once more.
Now the city is poised to eliminate that rule in the face of legal warnings from the National Rifle Assn. and the California Rifle & Pistol Assn., which say that the city restrictions have been preempted by state law.
L.A.’s longstanding ban prohibits firearm dealers in the city from selling smaller guns that measure up to 6.75 inches in length and 4.5 inches in height, as well as holsters to carry them.
It also requires dealers to keep records of any sales of ultracompact guns to police officers and other kinds of buyers who are not covered by the ban.
“We asked them to repeal this because it’s preempted by state law that says specifically which handguns gun dealers can and cannot sell in the state of California,” said Chuck Michel, attorney for the California Rifle & Pistol Assn. “This local ordinance conflicts with the state law, which allows a few of these handguns to be sold.”
The Los Angeles City Council is scheduled to vote on repealing the ban Tuesday.
There’s much more work to be done in California to repeal the gun control laws that keep honest citizens from being able to defend themselves from criminals, but this is a good indication of what we can expect in the future. California has seen a slew of failures in the court system when it comes to defending their unconstitutional laws, and now it seems that they would rather capitulate than to see millions more taxpayer dollars (which they don’t have) go to waste defending that failed policy.