City Council committee passes gun regulations ordinance

 

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Kevin Litten of The Times-Picayune reports that the City Council’s criminal justice committee on Wednesday (Aug. 31) approved an ordinance aimed at stemming the flow of stolen guns in New Orleans by requiring people to report their firearms stolen or face a $250 fine.

 

The ordinance also creates “firearm free zones,” which include school facilities — campuses, buildings and buses — and city-owned recreational properties. The ban on carrying firearms on New Orleans Recreation Development Commission property is a reaction to the mass shooting at Bunny Friend Park in 2015, which injured 17 people (NOLA.com).

 

Councilman Jason Williams said the ordinance will help police get a clearer picture of the guns that are being trafficked through the city illegally. Many of those guns are used in shootings throughout the city (NOLA.com).

 

“It’s one more step that will make for better investigations, cleaner investigations, moving forward,” Williams said (NOLA.com).

 

The committee’s chairwoman, Councilwoman Susan Guidry, said she’s disturbed by the number of guns that are stolen in New Orleans. She asked police to begin regularly publishing the number of guns that are stolen in the city, saying that many of the stolen guns are removed from unlocked vehicles (NOLA.com).

 

“It’s just ridiculous,” Guidry said, “that people think they should be able to be trusted with carrying a firearm and then they don’t have the sense to lock their vehicle” (NOLA.com).

 

New Orleans Police Superintendent Michael Harrison said that some stolen guns recovered at crime scenes belonged to owners who did not even know that their firearm was stolen. A NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune investigation found that more than 2,100 guns were reported stolen in New Orleans between 2012 and 2015 (NOLA.com).

 

The ordinance came at the behest of Mayor Mitch Landrieu, who unveiled the ordinance in April during a news conference at Bunny Friend Park. Landrieu acknowledged that the ordinance may not do much to stop violence, but he said it would at least fulfill an obligation to “fight back and to halt the stream of guns getting into the wrong hands” (NOLA.com).

 

The ordinance also has two other key provisions: It outlaws negligent handling of a firearm, which is defined as when firearms are “carried, brandished or displayed under circumstances that create a reasonable apprehension on the part of members of the public or a law enforcement officer that a crime is being committed or is about to be committed.” It’s also defined as when a firearm is handled in a way that it’s foreseeable that the firearm will discharge (NOLA.com).

 

The committee voted 4-0 in favor of moving the ordinance to the full Council (NOLA.com).

 

Correction: The original version of this story incorrectly reported that the ordinance passed by the committee contained a provision that banned guns without serial numbers. That provision was removed from the ordinance before it passed the committee (NOLA.com).

 

See the article here.

 

If you or a family member are facing legal difficulties, please call us at 504-522-7260. We offer free initial consultations with our clients in mind.