Palm Springs passes gun control ordinance

New gun restrictions set to face a final vote later this month

Palm Springs passes gun control ordinance

PALM SPRINGS, Calif - The Palm Springs City Council gave their first of two approval votes to a new gun control ordinance Wednesday night. 

The vote was 3 to 2 with Councilmember Ginny Foat and Mayor Pro Tem Chris Mills voting no.

The ordinance will come back for a second and final approval vote at the city council's next meeting later this month.

Council member Geoff Kors originally put a version of the ordinance in front of council in July. That ordinance was kicked back to city staff and a few parts of that original ordinance were removed.

At Wednesday night's meeting, the city council was not in complete agreement on the ordinance. 

"I don't see this as a gun control issue, I see this as a gun safety issue," said Mayor Robert Moon.

Other councilmembers had some issues with the proposed ordinance.

"I am not going to lock my gun in my nightstand up, so if I vote for this I would end up voting against myself," said Foat. "I am voting on a law that I know I'm going to break."

"We are going to work with the school district and police department to educate people on these topics," said Kors.

"This is not an enforceable ordinance and in my mind the only time this is going to be enforced is when it's too late," said Mills.

The proposed ordinance will require gun owners to report a theft or a loss of their firearm within 48 hours and require all guns to be kept in a locked container while no one is in the residence. A gun owner can still have the weapon out and within reach while they are in the house.

For concealed weapons permit holders the ordinance requires them to have a locked container to store their gun in a car.

Gun control advocates say this ordinance will help keep guns away from criminals.

Critics of the ordinance makes it difficult for them to protect themselves and has the potential to make law abiding gun owners, who have their guns stolen, break the law.

"The criminals are never going to do it. So what are you doing you're just setting up another wall so responsible gun owners have another thing that they can be prosecuted about because the criminals will never do that," said Elise Richmond, a gun rights advocate and local talk radio show host.

Gun control advocates believe this ordinance is a step in the right direction.

"I think at the ordinances that are in line today are ones that can provide  better safety with minimum kinds of intrusions for people. I'm not concerned with the debate on whether people should have guns or not, but I think safe care of weapons is an important civic responsibility," said Andrew Green, pastor at Saint Paul in the Desert Episcopal Church. 

Others in the audience said the city council was overreaching by voting on a this gun control ordinance.

"It's an unenforceable ordinance which will cost so much money. It's the kind of thing that should be left to the federal government and the state. The city should not be passing these kinds of stupid ordinances," said  Donald Preil of Palm Springs. 

Some people who came to the council meeting are extremely passionate about gun control or gun rights and said they will continue to fight for their side of the issue.

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