Palm Springs City Council Votes in Favor of New Gun Control Ordinance

Palm Springs City Council Votes in Favor of New Gun Control Ordinance



The Palm Springs City Council approved a revised ordinance placing restrictions on the city’s gun owners, requiring that firearms be locked up while not in the owner’s control and that lost or stolen guns be reported to police.

Under the tenets of the ordinance, which was approved on a 3-2 vote Wednesday night, gun owners are required to:
  — report lost or stolen guns to the police within 48 hours of the gun’s
  — store guns not in ”immediate control” by the owner in a locked container
or with a trigger lock; and
  — keep concealed firearms or ammunition out of unattended vehicles.

Firing a gun without a permit, obtainable via an application sent to Police Chief Bryan Reyes, would also be prohibited. Violators could face misdemeanor charges and a fine of $1,000.

The ordinance was originally introduced in July by Councilman Geoff Kors, soon after the June shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, where 49 people were killed and more than 50 wounded.

Revisions made since then include removing a ban on “large-capacity” magazines that can hold 10 or more rounds, and a requirement that firearm merchants track every transaction by gathering personal identifying details on the purchaser or recipient via an “ammunition sales log.”

Kors said Wednesday that the provisions were about gun safety, rather than gun control, and disagreed with arguments from the pro-gun crowd that the measures were unconstitutional.

“The argument that these reasonable gun safety measures violate the constitution is, in my opinion, incorrect,” Kors said.

“The Supreme Court has ruled, in a 5-4 opinion, that individuals have a right to own firearms. That is the law of the land and these measures do not conflict with that in any way. If they did, then I would oppose this measure.”

Mayor Robert Moon also supported the measure, though he requested that the original $1,000 per day penalty be changed to a one-time fine.

Councilman J.R. Roberts said he was ”astonished” at the opposition to the ordinance.

Roberts, who referred to himself as ”a gun owner and a great supporter ofthe 2nd Amendment,” argued against complaints that the ordinance only punishes law-abiding gun owners, while doing nothing to stop criminals.

“To me, this is tantamount to saying about car ownership, `We shouldn’t have stop signs because the scofflaws won’t use them, so we should eliminate them altogether,”’ Roberts said.

“We have safety rules for reasons, and these are the most basic of safety rules.”

Councilwoman Ginny Foat and Councilman Chris Mills cited issues of enforcement and what constitutes immediate control of a gun as factors that prevented them from supporting the ordinance.

Mills said it was “not an enforceable ordinance” and that ”the only time this is going to be enforced is, in my mind, after it’s too late.

Foat described herself as ”really pro-gun control,” but said she didn’t feel comfortable voting for an ordinance that she said was easy to be inviolation of, while also being difficult to enforce.

“It’s very difficult to legislate responsibility” she said. “You cannot legislate that parents are going to lock guns up because we’ve passed this ordinance. Kors countered that there was no way to know people aren’t violating any criminal laws.

“This proposal is not going to prevent San Bernardino or Orlando,” Kors said. “But if it saves one life, due to an accidental shooting, or a lost or stolen firearm, we’ve done a good job tonight.”