A week after four Oakland police officers were gunned down by a parolee with a semiautomatic weapon, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and City Councilman Jack Weiss on Friday called for the federal government to reinstate a ban on assault weapons.
Before heading to the Bay Area this morning for the funerals of Oakland police Sgt. Mark Dunakin, Sgt. Ervin Romans, Sgt. Daniel Sakai and Officer John Hege, the mayor and councilman called for the renewal of the Federal Assault Weapons Ban, which prevented the sale of most semiautomatic weapons.
"This morning we are calling on Congress and the Obama administration to make gun control a top priority now and to reauthorize the assault weapons ban right away," Villaraigosa said. "Whether it's a police officer at a routine traffic stop or a teenager walking home from school, handguns, automatic rifles and AK-47s are a threat to the safety of every American."
It is estimated that one in five law enforcement officers slain in the line of duty is killed with an assault weapon.
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder indicated last month that the Obama Administration will pursue renewal of the ban.
"As President Obama indicated during the campaign, there are just a few gun-related changes that we would like to make, and among them would be to re-institute the ban on the sale of assault weapons," Holder said in February.
The Federal Assault Weapons Ban was passed by Congress in 1994 and signed into law by President Bill Clinton. The law placed a 10-year ban on the sale of certain semiautomatic weapons, including military style semiautomatic rifles to civilians, but the ban was allowed to expire when George Bush became president.
Local news from across Southern California
There have been reports that people have been stocking up on guns because of rumors the Obama administration will crack down on gun ownership.