Politics

Palm Springs City Council looks at gun safety ordinances

File: An LAPD officer holds a collected assault weapon during the Gun Buyback Program event in the Van Nuys area on Dec. 26, 2012.
File: An LAPD officer holds a collected assault weapon during the Gun Buyback Program event in the Van Nuys area on Dec. 26, 2012.
Joe Klamar/AFP/Getty Images

In the aftermath of the Orlando shooting in June, calls for gun control legislation — on the federal, state and local levels — have reverberated throughout the country. The Palm Springs City Council was set to discuss potential gun safety ordinances Wednesday night, among an extensive laundry list of agenda items.

The Council won’t cast their votes on the new gun control ordinance until next Wednesday. Councilman Geoff Kors told KPCC that the ordinances are being discussed in advance this week.

One of the pieces of legislation would require gun owners to notify the police immediately if a firearm is lost or stolen. Another proposed ordinance would make it mandatory for all guns to have a safety lock or be locked in a secure place, Kors said.

Two other measures were being discussed, Kors said, but were removed from the agenda after Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation that made it illegal for somebody to posses a large capacity magazine and put in place the tracking of ammunition sales last week.

Before that, he said, the Council was looking to do something that would advance gun safety — no matter how modest — and send a message that although gridlock in Congress makes it difficult for anything to pass on a federal level, small steps can be taken on a local front.

“After what happened in Orlando, a lot of people were asking what they could do, and many were feeling like there was nothing they could do to prevent gun violence,” Kors said.  

He said that he's optimistic these two measures will pass. Some members expressed concerns about the ban on large capacity magazines, he said — a decision that was taken out of the Council’s hands.

The two ordinances that haven't been killed are modest and shouldn't raise any constitutional infringement claims, but it's a step in the right direction, he said.

“It does provide some gun safety measures here in Palm Springs, but I think it also sends a message that there are people that want to see action taken at a state and federal level,” Kors said.

Other items on the agenda include a single occupancy gender-neutral bathroom ordinance and a measure that would require insurers with the city to offer equal health benefits to an employee's spouse or domestic partner, regardless of if they're same-sex or transgender. This would cover procedures like sex reassignment surgery and hormone therapy, he said, and would make Palm Springs the first municipality in the country to do so.

He said these items haven’t received a lot of pushback.