Los Angeles Sued Over Gun Magazine Ban

County sheriffs, gun rights advocates file suit

• October 27, 2015 12:40 pm


Thirty county sheriffs, gun rights advocates, a peace officer organization, and others have filed a lawsuit challenging the city of Los Angeles’ ban on the possession of magazines capable of holding more than ten rounds.

The lawsuit challenges the ordinance on legal preemption grounds since California state law allows for possession of such magazines.

If the courts do not grant a stay of enforcement of the ordinance, residents must surrender their magazines to police, modify them, or sell them by Nov. 18. They also could be transferred to a properly licensed person. The ordinance requires these magazines to be removed from city limits by that date.

The ordinance affects not only residents but anyone traveling through Los Angeles.

Anyone found with the banned magazines will be subject to arrest and criminal prosecution. The ordinance does not exclude off-duty law enforcement officials, peace officers, and those with concealed carry permits.

"Our law enforcement clients do not appreciate that this ordinance makes criminals out of people who are authorized to use these magazines to defend themselves or their families any time their travels take them through the City of Los Angeles," said C.D. "Chuck" Michel, president of the California Rifle and Pistol Association, a group that is one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit.

The California Reserve Police Officers Association, whose members work with law enforcement agencies, is also challenging the magazine ban in the lawsuit. Many of its peace officers live in Los Angeles or other municipalities and travel through the city.

"Pursuant to California Penal Code sections 2540, 25900, and 32405, CRPOA members are authorized to carry firearms with lawfully obtained magazines having capacities greater than ten rounds, both while on and off duty," the lawsuit states.

One of the sheriffs who is suing the city over the ban said it affects his deputies as well as his residents.

"I decided to get involved because it impacts my deputies, who are off-duty, traveling through Los Angeles, and it also impacts my residents," said Sheriff Tom Bosenko of Shasta County. He is one of the 30 county sheriffs of the 58 in the state who are challenging the city’s ordinance.

Bosenko said there are no exemptions in the ordinance for off-duty law enforcement officers or citizens who have concealed carry permits.

Bosenko said that it is already illegal to purchase or manufacture these magazines in the state, and he also pointed out "state law here preempts city ordinance."

"It will do nothing to curb gun violence," said Bosenko. "This only impacts law-abiding citizens. Criminals by their very nature will not abide by this."

Mayor Eric Garcetti, Chief Charlie Beck of the Los Angeles Police Department, and the city are listed as defendants in the lawsuit.

Neither Garcetti’s office nor the police department responded to requests for comment by press time.

Published under: Guns