CARSON (CBSLA) — City officials in Carson voted against proposed tighter restrictions on guns and gun dealers Tuesday night.
Mayor Albert Robles said the proposal was a reaction to the state's spike in gun violence, but dozens of residents said the resolution as written would only empower criminals, infringe on their Second Amendment rights and cost the city of hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees battling it out in court while others accused Robles of political grandstanding.
"It was completely unconstitutional," Dean Silva, a resident, said. "Everything that he was trying to implement was unconstitutional. The only thing that would have done was limit the law-abiding natural second amendment rights. It does nothing to stop crime."
Had the resolution passed, some residents said they would have left the state and others said they would have sued the city themselves.
Carson municipal code currently has a ban on the sale or possession of assault weapons and has strict regulations on the sale or purchase of ammunition. The new resolution – which directs staff and the city attorney's office to implement the new regulations – would have expanded on those current bans and restrictions.
The resolution called for gun dealers to be confined to commercial zones and at least a mile away from schools, churches, bars and neighborhoods. The resolution also called for a ban on the sale and possession of guns on all city property, including city hall and parks and recreational areas.
Ultimately the vote was tied 2-2, due to some absences on the council. The tie vote was not enough for the resolution to pass.
"I am a little surprised," Robles said. "They all talk about wanting to do what's best for the city and protecting our residents, but today they failed, and that's very, very surprising and disappointing to me."
If the resolution were to pass, the new regulations would have been the strictest in Southern California. The city said it would work with the eight licensed and permitted gun dealers who currently call Carson home to meet the requirements.
"It hurts not to have the support of the elected representative of the community that you love and that you participate in," Jack Brandhorst, a gun shop owner, said. "It's painful. It's a punch in the gut, and it's reactionary and very obviously virtue signaling."
And while several showed up in favor of what the mayor was trying to accomplish, they said perhaps the council needed to go back to the drawing board to come up with language that would fight the rising gun violence while still allowing law abiding citizens to purchase firearms.
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