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    Gun Safety Proposals from Kaplan and Others Unanimously Pass Oakland City Council


    On a day when the nation saw President Obama shed tears in memory of children killed by gun violence and Oakland saw a brazen shooting in broad daylight across the street from City Hall, the Oakland City Council unanimously passed proposals to strengthen gun safety, including my proposal to ban leaving guns unsecured in unattended vehicles.

    My colleagues and I approved a package of proposals requiring stricter gun safety, which were co-authored by Councilmembers Kalb, Campbell Washington, City Attorney Barbara Parker and me. The proposals were first heard on December 15, 2015, during which time the Public Safety Committee of the Oakland City Council unanimously voted to recommend them for Council adoption.

    The Ordinances include requirements to secure all firearms and ammunition in unattended vehicles, and for gun owners to keep their firearms secured with a trigger lock, or in a lock box.

    The gun safety measures attracted the ire of the NRA, which has attacked me for my leadership in support of gun safety, asking supporters to speak out against the measures. My response to the NRA is that the NRA claim that they are for responsible gun ownership. But leaving a gun loose in the backseat of an unattended car is incredibly irresponsible. The NRA should not defend leaving guns loose where they can easily get into the hands of criminals and end up with people killed—including Antonio Ramos and Kate Steinle. Letting guns be left where they can easily be stolen is bad for public safety. If the NRA wants guns to be easily stolen, then they don’t care about safety—just about selling more guns—even if people die.

    After two years of seeing homicides decrease, 2015 saw the murder rate rise, slightly. Recently, several horrific murders have been committed with guns stolen from vehicles. With record high levels of car break-ins, these common-sense gun safety ordinances are an effort to keep guns from being stolen and then sold illegally.

    These proposals are part of a comprehensive effort to crackdown on illegal and dangerous gun use. Recently, I’ve successfully advocated for more efforts to combat gun violence and illegal gun dealing.

    Last summer, I fought for and won $1 million to fund special gun investigations, which will include updated technology and staffing for gun tracing efforts. These will improve solving gun crimes, tracing illegal guns and, in-turn, shut down more illegal gun sources.

    Last month, the Oakland City Council unanimously passed a proposal that I put forward to support the 2016 California ballot initiative “Safety For All Act” by Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom. It would require background checks for all firearm and ammunition sales, and reporting lost and stolen firearms, as well as requiring other common sense gun safety measures.

    As a package, these proposals are steps towards reducing gun violence and the proliferation of illegal gun dealing in our cities, state, and nation.

    Vice Mayor Rebecca Kaplan was elected in 2008 to serve as Oakland’s citywide councilmember. She was re-elected in 2012 and serves currently as Vice Mayor. She is working for safe neighborhoods, for local jobs and for a fresh start for Oakland. Vice Mayor Kaplan graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, obtained a Master’s degree from Tufts University and a Juris Doctor from Stanford Law School.