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Wesson leads call for ban on assault weapons

LOS ANGELES — Two Los Angeles City Council members — ironically named Smith and Wesson — introduced a resolution Aug. 6 calling on state and federal lawmakers to pass gun-control legislation such as banning the sale and possession of assault weapons.

The resolution, introduced by City Councilman Greig Smith and Council President Herb Wesson, demands that legislators ban the sale, possession and use of any assault weapon, as well as materials to modify weapons to make them semi-automatic. Such items were used in the Las Vegas shooting in 2017, when nearly 60 people were killed while attending a country music festival.

“The gun violence epidemic in our country is not normal and it’s not something we in Los Angeles will accept as we stand idly by,” Wesson said. “In just over a week, we’ve been shaken by three tragic mass shootings which have made it clear that nowhere is truly safe in a country that allows these weapons of war to be sold and carried on our streets. This resolution is our message to our state and federal legislators: We need meaningful reform on gun control now.”

“Communities and families across America are grieving over the horrible shootings that struck El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, this weekend, less than a week after a shooting in Gilroy,” Smith said.

“Claims that nothing can be done to stop this violence are not borne out by the facts. Not taking action is a choice that condemns yet more families and communities to endure the heartbreak and tragedy of the next mass shooting.”

The resolution also demands federal and state laws be passed to set minimum standards requiring social media administrators to remove or block hate speech on their platforms. Mass shooters in the last week all had been in some way influenced by hate speech and ideologies catered by people through social media networks.

According to the councilmen, there are “concrete examples” of gun-control legislation that can be adopted, ones that polling indicates have majority support.

Meanwhile, City Councilman Paul Koretz introduced a motion that would ban possession of all assault weapons within Los Angeles. That motion will be reviewed by the council’s Public Safety Committee.

The gun violence epidemic in our country is not normal and it’s notsomething we in Los Angeles will accept as we stand idly by.”

— City Council President Herb Wesson