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University Times

The student news site of California State University - Los Angeles

University Times

The student news site of California State University - Los Angeles

University Times

Gun control gains traction in cities like Alhambra

Monterey Park shooting leads to the proposal of new state and local laws
Katy Chen spoke up at the Alhambra city council meeting in late September. Photo courtesy of the city.

In response to the 2023 mass shooting in Monterey Park, the city council of Alhambra discussed three ordinances in late September to curb gun violence and passed one, but is it enough? 

That was the gist of many comments that night.

The first ordinance was passed immediately as an “urgency” measure to stop the sales of firearms within 1,000 feet of homes, schools, and community centers — and a 45-day hold on construction for new firearm businesses.

The second is a safe storage ordinance that would require residents to store their guns in a locked container or have them properly disabled in their homes. Under the proposed ordinance, the resident could potentially face felony charges if a child or adult causes harm or death using their gun that was not properly stored. It was finalized and approved at the October council meeting.

The third would no longer allow anyone — except law enforcement — to carry loaded firearms on any city-owned property. But that ordinance was not ultimately approved. Council members could not be reached for updates about it, however, a staff report for the next council meeting noted that when it comes to the last ordinance, a state law “addresses those same sensitive place and restrictions” so staff recommends the city not move forward with that law.

The safe storage ordinance could have the greatest potential to curb mass shootings, experts say, because the National Institute of Justice reports that over 80% of mass shootings that happen in K-12 schools involve people who have stolen guns from their family members. 

At the October meeting, one opponent of the gun laws said they were not “fully hashed out” and it seems unfair to ask residents to pay for a gun lock after they’ve already purchased a gun and not budgeted for a lock.

“Are you going to pay for it?” resident Jeffrey Gomez said at the October council meeting. “We have laws addressing safe storage of firearms.”

Several residents said at the September meeting that they felt the ordinances are a good start but that gun control laws need to go further. For instance, Melissa Michelson noted the state of Washington’s recent ban on the sale of certain semi-automatic weapons.

“Unfortunately I feel like this does not prevent the actions of gun violence, if a person wants to cause harm they will cause harm,” Katy Chen, an Alhambra resident and environmental commissioner for the city, said at the Sept. 25 city council meeting. 

“We can never guarantee that there is no gun violence, no accidental shooting,” Councilmember Katherine Lee said at the council meeting.

But she believes the ordinances are a step in the right direction.

Updated Dec. 16: This story was updated to note that the council did approve all of the ordinances.

Updated Feb. 11: This story was updated to note which ordinances were passed and which one was not passed, and to add a quote from someone who provided an alternate perspective.

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  • S

    StanDec 16, 2023 at 9:10 am

    As a community news reporter you need to better research. If you had done proper research you would know this article is not true. Yes the Alhambra City Council rushed through 3 ordinances at the meeting in late September. All three ordinances were put on indefinite hold within 2 days because they violated peoples constitutional rights. A simple call by you to the City Clerk would verify this to be true. Instead you are pushing propaganda and must have some agenda. It’s too bad CSULAUNIVERSITY TIMES chooses to publish false information.
    As a long time resident of Alhambra I pay attention to what is going on in my city and I personally spoke the City Clerk and the assistant to the City Attorney on this matter. I believe these ill conceived ordinance’s were put forward for political reasons as the council member who introduced them has further political aspirations.

    • J

      Julie LissDec 16, 2023 at 10:39 am

      Thanks for letting us know. A correction has been posted. The student reporter did not hear back from council members but we found the update in the next council agenda.

      • S

        StanDec 16, 2023 at 8:41 pm

        Thank you for fixing the article and putting the truth out there.

        • J

          Julie LissDec 18, 2023 at 1:22 pm

          We appreciate your help catching that error and sincere apologies.