California gun control: Violent gun crime and mass shootings surge in Los Angeles county despite tough gun laws

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LOS ANGELES, CA – Gun control advocates may be in for a surprise after learning that Los Angeles County, with some of the most stringent gun controls in the nation, is experiencing a violent crime surge.

L.A. County Sheriff Alex Villanueva released a video on social media announcing numbers showing a 95 percent increase in murders, a 40 percent increase in grand theft auto, a 7.8 percent increase in rape, a 12.9 percent increase in aggravated assault, and a 22 percent increase in arson.

The Sheriff said the LA County crime statistics were “not good news”:

“All (increases are) huge numbers. Very troublesome and I am going to identify this as existential threat number one, particularly for people who live in communities that have a large percentage of African American and Latino residents. They are the ones in the impact zone.”

The Sheriff then blasted council members for not taking action to address the rapid crime increase, and suggested they were partially to blame:

“I have yet to hear a single motion from the Board of Supervisors addressing this, not one. On another note, related because we have less cops on the street (and) more crooks, less consequences, what could go wrong with that combination, right?”

In the same video, the Sheriff announced that his department would increase the processing and number of concealed weapons permits issued to the public so that they could protect themselves from the criminals running rampant.

L.A. County, and all of California, has some of the toughest gun control laws in the country. Gun control monitoring site maintained by Giffords Law Center gave California an “A” for gun control saying:

“California has the strongest gun laws in the United States and often leads the way in enacting new approaches to gun safety. The state has the seventh-lowest gun death rate in the country.

“To further strengthen its gun laws, California should increase funding for community violence prevention programs and strengthen firearm removal processes for people subject to court protective orders.”

California gun laws include red flag law, universal background checks, a 10-day waiting period on firearm purchases, firearm registration requirements, an “assault weapons” ban, a limit on the number of guns a law-abiding citizen can purchase in a month, a “good cause” requirement for concealed carry permit issuance, a ban on K-12 teachers being armed for classroom defense, a ban on campus carry for self-defense, and numerous other controls.

As of 2020, California had more gun laws on the books than any other state. As of that year, there were 107 gun laws restricting the possession and carrying of firearms.

Despite these laws restricting the Second Amendment, crime in the streets of cities like Los Angeles and Oakland rages.

May 26, the mass shooting at the VTA rail yard in San Jose became the 18th mass shooting in California this year, according to the Gun Violence Archive. Nine people died in the San Jose attack.

Mass shootings in California, with the gun control laws, are not a rare occurrence. Before the May 26 attack, two mass shootings occurred on May 18. There were seven in the Month of May alone.

From January through May 26, Oakland had four mass shootings.

Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) claims that the violence his own L.A. County Sheriff tells him is running out of control is not a sign that gun control is not working. Three days after the tragic attack in San Jose, he tweeted:

“Some people (…meaning the GOP and NRA) like to point to horrific shootings like yesterday’s and say CA’s strict gun laws don’t work. The reality is that is simply not true.”

He tried to support his argument by using statistics from 1993 and spoke about the “rate” of gun deaths rather than discuss the number of deaths from gun violence:

“In 1993, CA had the 3rd highest rate of gun homicides in the country and the 16th highest rate of gun deaths overall.”

“Since then, CA has become a national leader on gun safety.”

In another blow to gun control in California, a federal judge has overturned California’s three-decade-old ban on assault weapons this week.

In a 94-page decision, federal Judge Roger T. Benitez described California’s assault weapons ban – in place in 1989 – as unconstitutional and defended the right of Americans to own semi-automatic rifles.

The judge wrote:

“Like the Swiss Army Knife, the popular AR-15 rifle is a perfect combination of home defense weapon and homeland defense equipment.

“Guns and ammunition in the hands of criminals, tyrants and terrorists are dangerous; guns in the hands of law-abiding responsible citizens are better.”

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LA County Sheriff expands concealed weapons permits as police defunded and region sees 95% rise in homicides

June 3, 2021

 

Los Angeles, CA – The Los Angeles County Sheriff announced Wednesday that his department is expanding the number of approved concealed weapons permits as the region suffers rampant violent crime and a 95% rise in homicides.

In May, the county experienced a 95% increase in murder, 7% increase in rape, a 13% uptick in aggravated assaults, a 40% rise in grand theft auto, and a 22% increase in arson incidents, compared to the same time frame in 2020, Sheriff Alex Villanueva said in a video posted to Instagram and YouTube.

The Sheriff said the LA County crime statistics were “not good news”:

“All (increases are) huge numbers. Very troublesome and I am going to identify this as existential threat number one, particularly for people who live in communities that have a large percentage of African American and Latino residents. They are the ones in the impact zone.”

The Sheriff then blasted council members for not taking action to address the rapid crime increase, and suggested they were partially to blame:

“I have yet to hear a single motion from the Board of Supervisors addressing this, not one. On another note, related because we have less cops on the street (and) more crooks, less consequences, what could go wrong with that combination, right?”

The Sheriff was commenting about steps taken by LA County to defund the police department, including the November 2020 “Reimagine LA County” measure passed by the council that cut $145.5 million from the Sheriff’s Department budget and $49.1 million from the probation department. 

There is another cut of $143 million pending.

 

The council reversed the decision after crime spiraled out of control and voted in March to increase the Sheriff’s Department funding by $36 million, still leaving a deficit of $13.1 million. The additional cut is pending for the next fiscal year.

The County’s “care first, jail last” philosophy resulting in penalties and sentences for criminals being reduced as part of calls by Democratic leaders for justice reform, coupled with the budget cuts, has fed the crime rise, according to the Sheriff.

Villanueva announced that The Sheriff’s Department is accelerating the issuance of concealed weapons permits (CCW) in consideration of the increased crime threat to residence:

“We have made the ‘Good Cause’ standard achievable. We are recognizing the threat to residents is increasing, so we are responding accordingly.

“We are not going to the ‘shall issue’ where anyone who can fog a mirror can get a CCW permit, that’s not responsible.

“But we do want give the opportunity to the people who are responsible, pass the training, don’t have any convictions or legal limitations from being armed in public, and can establish just a good cause reason they should be armed.”

The Sheriff did not hold back his anger as he called out the actions of the LA County Board, pointing out that the Sheriff’s Department was defunded the $145 million dollars and cut by 1,310 positions. The Sheriff said the Board did not “feel that was enough,” and was now planning to cut $143 million and 77 positions:

“Considering those two things combined with a deficient of $101 million inherited when I took office at the end of 2018…

“We have been defunded, degraded our capacity to fight crime and investigate crime and hold people accountable when they commit a crime. All of that is going downhill, and not to the benefit of the residents of L.A. County. As you can judge, (the numbers) are going in the wrong direction.”

He spoke out against the Board’s support for “Measure J,” a referendum that passed in 2020 to provide “alternatives to incarceration” and fight “racial injustice” through 10% of the country’s budget:

“We have members of the Board of Supervisors who decided they wanted to ‘seize the moment’ and put Measure J on the ballot without it being vetted legally, without it actually being put to the test by having the people gather their signatures in the truly democratic way to see what the level of support is.  And then you put it with a deceptive title that somehow, we were going to reimagine things.

“Part of that reimagine, people never realized, was defunding the Sheriff’s Department. That was the biggest piece that was glossed over, intentionally, by the advocates who wrote this deceptive measure and the members of the Board of Supervisors who put it on the ballot. So, the four of you that voted for this, you own it now.” 

 

 


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