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Criminal Justice

LA County Health Leaders Call For More Gun Restrictions And Broader School Safety

Dozens of bundles of guns are wrapped in yellow tape and stacked on the ground in front of two large dump trucks.
Guns are heaped in a pile during the destruction of approximately 3,400 guns and other weapons at the Los Angeles County Sheriff's annual gun melt in 2015. California law requires the destruction of the confiscated weapons.
(David McNew
Getty Images)
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In response to mass shootings, Los Angeles County health leaders warned that gun violence restraining orders are “drastically underutilized.” The leaders released a gun violence prevention plan that calls for:

  • Comprehensive school safety
  • Culturally competent healing services
  • Increased gun safety legislation both locally and nationally

Why it matters

According to provisional data, in 2021 there were 625 firearm homicides in Los Angeles County. That’s a 64% increase from the 380 reported in 2019. In 2022, there were 466 firearm homicides, a slight decrease. The firearm homicide rate for Black Angelenos is more than three times that of the county overall, according to L.A. County’s Office of Violence Prevention.

Why now

Red flag laws, such as gun violence restraining orders, received a renewed push after a mass shooting at an elementary school last year in Uvalde, Texas, which left 19 students and two teachers dead. In January, 11 people died in a mass shooting at a dance studio on Lunar New Year in Monterey Park in L.A. County.

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The backstory

The six-year-old California statute was among the country’s first “red flag” laws. Gun violence restraining orders prohibit gun ownership or purchases by individuals subject to a court order for up to 5 years. The law allows eligible people to petition a court for a gun violence restraining order for someone they believe poses a danger to themselves or others.

Go deeper: Inside The Team Pioneering California’s Red Flag Laws

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