October 24, 2023

Supervisors Move to Strengthen Regulation of Gun Dealers

Los Angeles, CA—Today, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors moved forward a new County ordinance to strengthen regulations of gun and ammunition dealers in unincorporated Los Angeles County. The new policy is part of a strategy championed by Supervisor Janice Hahn to use every tool at the County’s disposal to prevent gun violence.

“We need to prevent guns from falling into the wrong hands and part of that effort is ensuring gun and ammunition dealers are acting responsibly,” said Supervisor Hahn who proposed this ordinance and three others to better prevent gun violence. “These are commonsense regulations that will make sure gun dealers have basic security measures in place, maintain inventory, and keep records of who they sell guns and ammunition to.”

Gun and Ammunition Dealer Ordinance:

The ordinance approved by the board today will apply to gun and ammunition dealers in the unincorporated area of Los Angeles County of which there are currently 18 gun dealers and two ammunition-only dealers.  The ordinance, which will be enforced by the Los Angeles County Treasurer and Tax Collector, does the following:

  • Requires that ammunition dealers get a business license and comply with requirements applicable to gun dealers. Previously, ammunition-only dealers were not required to have a specific business license.
  • Prohibits minors in stores that sell guns and ammunition unless accompanied by an adult. Mixed-use stores will be required to have sight separation.
  • Requires that stores maintain an annual sales report, keep a fingerprint log of purchasers of guns and ammunition, maintain a weekly inventory report, have security cameras in place, and have signs displayed in stores that warn customers about the risks associated with access to guns.
  • Requires suspended and revoked licensee names to be publicly posted by the Treasurer and Tax Collector.
  • Amends the fee chart and increases the annual license fee for both initial applications and license renewals.

This ordinance will now move to a second hearing at the upcoming November 7th board meeting.  Should the board approve the ordinance for a second time, it will go into effect 30 days later.

Additional Gun Ordinances in Place and In Development

This gun dealer regulation ordinance is the third of four ordinances proposed by Supervisor Hahn.  The first two ordinances, which banned the sale of .50 caliber firearms and prohibited carrying firearms on Los Angeles County property, were implemented earlier this year.  The fourth ordinance, which is being developed by the Department of Regional Planning, will create a 1,000-foot buffer zone between gun stores and child safety zones like schools, daycares, parks, and playgrounds.

Expanding Access to Gun Violence Restraining Orders

As part of a comprehensive approach to preventing gun violence, the County has also launched a new effort to raise awareness and use of gun violence restraining orders (GVROs).  GVROs, which can be filed by law enforcement or members of the public when they believe a person is a danger to themselves or others and must be approved by a judge, can prevent a person from purchasing a gun, ammunition, or magazine for a specified length of time, between 21 days and five years.  Despite their life-saving potential, they are severely underutilized in Los Angeles County.

To improve public information and awareness of Gun Violence Restraining Orders, Supervisors Janice Hahn and Hilda Solis directed the LA County Office of Violence Prevention to launch a public awareness campaign. As part of that effort, the office has created a new webpage can be found at www.publichealth.lacounty.gov/ovp/GVROs.htm.  It includes information about what GVROs are, who can file for them, videos about how to file GVROs in both English and Spanish, a list of legal aid organizations that can assist, and data about gun violence restraining order filings in LA County.  The webpage also includes information about possible warning signs for both suicide and potential mass violence.

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