The City Council will address at its Tuesday study session ways to enhance public safety and prevent gun violence in Beverly Hills, while reviewing local, state and federal options that can strengthen controls over the sale and ownership of firearms.
The City Council Legislative Committee of Mayor William Brien and Vice Mayor John Mirisch met in late December to discuss gun control laws in light of the mass shooting Dec. 14 at an elementary school in Newtown, CT. The committee recommended presenting the entire council with legislative proposals that seek to enhance gun and ammunition control, including a bill by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) that would place a federal ban on assault weapons.
Feinstein authored a federal ban on assault weapons in 1994 that Congress allowed to expire in 2004 during the George W. Bush administration. She publicly stated shortly after the Newtown shooting that passing a new federal bill banning assault weapons would be her priority when Congress returns to session in January.
"It will ban the sale, the transfer, the importation and the possession. Not retroactively, but prospectively. It will ban the same for big clips, drums or strips of more than 10 bullets," Feinstein said on NBC's Meet The Press Dec. 16. "There will be a bill."
In a joint video statement, the Beverly Hills Police Department and Beverly Hills Unified School District reassured residents that there is a lockdown plan in place for school emergencies like the Newtown tragedy. The BHPD also said it is working with private schools in the city to ensure the same safety measures.
Still, some parents are concerned by what they perceive as a lack of security at BHUSD schools if an incident like the Newtown shooting takes place in Beverly Hills.
"More needs to be done to make the campuses safer, particularly at Beverly High," Amie Alper Deutsch told Patch in a Dec. 21 article. Her children attend Beverly Hills High School and Beverly Vista, and she is herself a BHHS alumna.
"Why are we spending thousands of dollars on high school security officers who are unarmed and sit in 20-year-old golf carts?" Deutsch said.
Do you believe City Council should support a federal ban on assault weapons? Do you think an assault weapons ban would help protect residents from gun violence? Tell us in the comments section.