Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is proposing several anti-gun rights laws as the answer to gang violence. These laws won’t affect gang members, who are already willing to break the laws against selling drugs, committing murder, and being felons who unlawfully possess guns.
As the L.A. Times reports, “The proposed [Los Angeles] city ordinances include banning .50-caliber, military-style ammunition; licensing ammunition vendors; requiring anyone making ammunition purchases to do so in person; requiring gun-store owners to make regular gun inventories and report to local law enforcement; and outlawing installation of secret gun compartments in vehicles.”
The ban on .50 caliber ammunition is perhaps the worst of these proposed ordinances, because it bears no rational connection to crime. The statistics, and common sense, show that criminals don’t use 3 foot long rifles that weigh 50 pounds and cost thousands of dollars. Virtually the only people who can and choose to afford to buy a .50 caliber rifle and the ammunition for it are avid gun collectors, who are law abiding citizens.
Gang members use cheap, small caliber handguns in over 99% of their crimes, rather than using .50 caliber rifles or so called “assault weapons.” The reason is simple – a very large rifle is nearly impossible to conceal and hard to transport. A gang member sneaking up on a rival gang member can’t hide a 3 foot long rifle. Nor can they make a speedy getaway with one. A ban on .50 caliber rifle ammunition is just another way of whittling down the right to keep and bear arms.
The remaining proposals are just as pointless and ineffective. A criminal willing to violate the law against murder, and face capital punishment for it, will laugh at a city ordinance. The only people who will obey it are the law abiding gun owners, which will just put them at a disadvantage when attacked by criminals. Similarly, the law abiding gun stores will be affected, while black market arms dealers will continue to smuggle in guns and sell them to criminals.
In short, these proposed ordinances will do nothing to solve the underlying social problems that cause gang violence, and are just ways for politicians to pander to the anti-gun crowd and claim that they are “tough on crime.” It is politicians like this that make us need the NRA.