LA MESA, Calif. — In La Mesa, City Council voted to advance a draft ordinance that would add requirements for gun owners there. If passed, residents would have to keep firearms locked away or disabled when leaving their home.
Councilmember Jack Shu sponsored the draft ordinance and said the move could prevent further crime or suicide.
“When you leave the home, the gun is no longer in your possession, no longer in your control, let’s get it safe,” Shu said.
La Mesa could join other cities like San Diego, Solana Beach and Encinitas which already have this ordinance in place. However, while some are in favor, it’s raising opposition.
“I shouldn’t have to go back to the house looking for my gun and unlocking my guns in order to protect myself,” gun owner Ryan Bramley said.
The proposal was originally shut down 15 months back, but Tuesday’s city council meeting brought about changes, ending in a 3 to 2 vote in favor of the move forward. Mayor Mark Arapostathis and Councilwoman Laura Lothian opposed the idea once again.
This year, Councilwoman Patricia Dillar, who replaced Bill Barber last November, voted in favor of the proposal. Barber joined the Mayor and councilwoman in their initial opposition back in 2022.
Michael Schwartz, who is the Director of San Diego County Gun Owners, warns the legislation is not an effective way to combat gun violence.
“Punishing more people and making sane trained law-abiding people into gun criminals is not the way to accomplish what they’re trying to accomplish,” Schwartz said.
If someone violates the law, that person could get an infraction which is lower than a misdemeanor. Shu says enforcement can most likely happen through word of mouth.
“There are provisions out there to encourage compliance, but not to prevent things like people not wanting to report their gun stolen because it was not kept safe, not locked up,” Shu said.
The ordinance will be formally introduced at the end of the summer. It then needs to be voted on twice before taking effect.