Oakland to hear plans restricting high-capacity clips, theft of guns from cars

Oakland Councilmember Dan Kalb, above, along
with Rebecca Kaplan and Annie Campbell
Washington are proposing a slate of gun-related laws.

OAKLAND CITY COUNCIL | Oakland public officials will offer a slate of gun-related legislation later this month to limit access to high-capacity gun magazines and required gunowners to safely store firearms in their homes. In addition, two proposed ordinances intend to stem the rash of guns stolen from unattended vehicles.

A pair of proposed ordinances offered by Councilmembers Dan Kalb and Annie Campbell Washington during an Oakland City Council Rules Committee Thursday would make it unlawful for the unauthorized possession of any large-capacity magazine in the city.

The occurrence of high-powered firearms in deadly tragedies over the past two weeks in Colorado Springs, Colo and San Bernardino has again reignited concerns over the prevalence of such weapons on American streets. The proposed ordinance is scheduled for the Public Safety Committee on Dec. 15, the Rules Committee said Thursday morning.

Kalb and Campbell Washington are also proposing a “Safe Storage Firearms Act” to require gun owners in Oakland to store their weapons in a locked container or render them disabled with a trigger lock. The proposed legislation will also direct the City Attorney’s office to return within four months with an ordinance requiring safe storage of city-issued firearms in automobiles.

In recent months, a spate of stolen guns from government-issued automobiles has raised concern over the safety of such practices. Oakland artist Antonio Ramos, who was gunned down recently while painting an anti-violence mural in the city, is alleged to have been killed by a suspect using a gun stolen from a car belonging to law enforcement. The death of a Kathryn Steinle earlier this year in San Francisco was allegedly caused using a gun stolen from a vehicle belonging to an officer of the Bureau of Land Management.

Similarly, Oakland Vice Mayor Rebecca Kaplan is also proposing an ordinance to stop the theft of guns from unattended cars.The ordinance proposed by Kaplan is sponsored by Oakland City Attorney Barbara Parker.

Kaplan said Thursday that the overall rate of auto burglaries in Oakland continues to be problematic. Around 300 firearms, mostly handguns, were stolen from cars in Oakland between August 2014 and November 2015, according to the Oakland Police Department

“First, we want to warn the public: Don’t leave a gun in your car,” Kaplan told the committee. “You may not want to leave anything in your car, but definitely not a gun.”

In a statement, Parker added, “Thousands of Americans are killed by guns every year in our country, including dozens every year in Oakland, almost all young Black and Brown men. Unfortunately the U.S. Congress is suffering from some kind of political psychosis when it comes to guns, refusing to pass common sense reforms such as universal background checks and licensing for all gun purchases. In this legal context, we in Oakland have a moral imperative to do everything humanly possible to address this crisis with our own legislation.”

Kalb told the Rules Committee, he and Campbell Washington are currently in discussions with Kaplan to merge their proposals into a complimentary piece of legislation before the committee hearing later this month.

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