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SCVNews.com | Supes Call for Review of Gun Laws, School Safety | 01-03-2013
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Mark Ridley-Thomas

Prompted by the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting and other incidents of gun violence nationally, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors will consider motions Tuesday by Mark Ridley-Thomas and Zev Yaroslavsky to examine safety procedures in all school districts and examine the efficacy of existing gun laws.

“Residents of the County should be safe within their homes, schools, businesses, and places of employment,” Ridley-Thomas said in his motion. “Consequently, the county government must be proactive in advancing the reduction of gun violence as functions of its role in promoting public health, public safety and as an employer.”

Ridley-Thomas wants the county to take a “holistic approach that considers the underlying causes of gun violence as well as the importance of prevention and education in reducing gun violence.”

He’s calling for the creation of a task force that would “recommend strategies aimed at reducing incidents of gun violence” including enhanced enforcement of existing laws regulating the possession, sale and purchase of high caliber, high capacity weapons.

The task force would further “make recommendations … on the development of and revisions to existing laws and regulations governing the sale, purchase, transfer and possession of firearms and ammunition.”

Under Ridley-Thomas’ motion, the task force would include members of the law enforcement community and public health and mental heath professionals. It would also be charged with “targeting the stigma associated with mental illness and mental health treatment.”

Ridley-Thomas is further calling on the county Office of Education to survey all 80 of the county’s public school districts “to determine whether they are in compliance with their mandated school safety plan,” and he wants the Sheriff’s Department and other county officials to “conduct a safety assessment of all County facilities within the next 90 days.”

His motion would require the county’s chief administrative officer to “report back on the protocols for each county facility in the event of a security breach involving a firearm” and make recommendations for improved training of county employees.

A separate motion by Yaroslavsky would expand the training enhancements to include the county’s contract security guards.

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