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San Diego Panel Mulls Supporting Federal Ban on Assault Weapons

San Diego Councilman David Alvarez introduced the resolution at a meeting of the Public Safety and Neighborhood Services Committee.

A resolution supporting efforts to re-institute a federal ban on assault weapons was forwarded Wednesday to the San Diego City Council by one of its committees, but without a recommendation on whether it should be approved.

Councilman David Alvarez introduced the resolution at a meeting of the Public Safety and Neighborhood Services Committee, proposing that the panel endorse a bill by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., to re-instate the assault weapons ban that expired in 2004.

The resolution offered by Alvarez calls for the city to support Feinstein's bill, along with legislation to prevent the sale, transfer, importation and manufacturing of assault weapons and magazines that hold more than 10 rounds. The draft resolution also asks that California's congressional delegation back the measure and that the state direct more money into mental health services.

The councilman noted that the number of mass casualty shooting incidents has risen over the last 14 years, at a time when the overall crime rate has fallen.

Military-style weapons with large ammunition clips "are not necessary for sportsmen or home protection and constitute a demonstrated threat to the public," Alvarez wrote.

San Diego police Chief William Lansdowne told the committee that he fully supported the resolution.

"We see it as a critical issue for public safety and certainly for law enforcement," Lansdowne said.

SDPD officers have twice in recent weeks been confronted by men wielding assault rifles during domestic violence calls, the chief said. He said two major incidents involving such weapons took place last year.

Opponents of Feinstein's bill contend that it is vague and focuses on the appearance of weapons, not their functionality.

Committee members Mark Kersey and Lorie Zapf said the issue should go before the Rules Committee, where it could be reconciled with a call for a reduction in gun violence that is already part of the city's lobbying program.

"There are many bills making their way both through Congress as well as our state Legislature that are attempting to make our streets, schools and public places safer," Kersey said. "To say that this particular bill is the best of those, or the most important of those, out of all the ones being considered, seems short-sighted."

He said public officials really need to focus on getting guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill, and get the federal and state governments to do more to identify and treat people with mental problems.

Feinstein's office said city councils in Chula Vista, Del Mar, Encinitas, Lemon Grove and National City have recently passed resolutions supporting the proposed assault weapon ban, as has the San Diego Unified School District.

—City News Service

Jack Japster March 14, 2013 at 04:28 AM
This is not about gun control, it is about people control. We live in time of wolves where our government is totally corrupt. We are not made safer by making more sheep. Our founding fathers did something no other country has done. They passed amendments giving citizens rights and passed laws limiting government powers. Some council did not give us the right to bear arms and has no authority to take that right away. The excuse is to save lives. The stench of hypocrisy is overwhelming. Where is your moral indignation about the most deadly poison for profit scheme of selling cigarettes to the public. A woman can go and have the life growing inside of her torn to pieces and this is looked upon in our society as a protected right.Two phrases are screaming during this time; "Those who give up freedom for safety soon have neither" and "Fear a government that fears your guns" There is also a statement that; "When the poor have nothing to eat, they will eat the rich." That is why the guns have to be gone before the crash of the U.S. economy, which is imminent.

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