School shooting threat leads to overhaul of Los Angeles gun storage laws

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Firearm ownership in Los Angeles could soon be even more tightly restricted. Los Angeles City Councilman Paul Krekorian proposed Tuesday a plan to expand the city’s safe storage ordinance to include all firearms, not just handguns.

Currently, rifles and other long guns are not subject to any storage requirements. Handguns, on the other hand, must be safely stored in a locked container or disabled with a trigger lock.

Krekorian said at a news conference last month the ordinance was for an update after a Pacoima father was caught keeping unsecured weapons. Two handguns and a rifle were recovered from Albert Sanchez’ home last November, after his ninth grade son, a student at Cesar Chavez Academy in San Fernando, threatened to bring a gun to school and shoot a classmate.

Sanchez faces up to one year in jail and $2,000 in fines if convicted for the unsecured handguns, but Krekorian said the City Attorney was unable to press charges for the unsecured rifle because the city’s ordinance is specific to handguns.

“We need to do everything in our power to raise awareness about the law requiring gun owners to safely store firearms in their home,” Krekorian said at the news conference. “We must also ensure that the law applies to all firearms so that our city and law enforcement partners have the tools they need to hold gun owners accountable and stop these types of incidents that could cause irreversible tragedy.”

Krekorian isn’t the only one reacting to the Sanchez case. Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Board Member Scott Schmerleson also unveiled the district’s response, which involves informing parents of their legal obligation to safely store firearms, and have parents acknowledge they understand their responsibilities.

“If we can save even one child from injury or death, our efforts will be well worth the commitment we are making today,” Schmerleson said.

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