Gun and ammunition dealers at about 20 retail locations in the unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County are facing stricter regulations as a result of a new ordinance initially approved by the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, Oct. 24.
The ordinance applies to retail stores and is part of a series of gun control measures adopted by the board in the past year, led by Fourth District Supervisor and board chair Janice Hahn.
“We need to prevent guns from falling into the wrong hands and part of that effort is ensuring gun and ammunition dealers are acting responsibly,” said Hahn.
There are 18 gun dealers and two ammunition dealers operating in county areas that are not within cities, according to Hahn’s office.
The new ordinance would for the first time require ammunition dealers to get a specific business license and comply with the same set of requirements as gun dealers. “Before now, we didn’t know how many ammunition dealers we had in the county,” Hahn said.
New mandatory requirements for gun stores include the following:
• Minors are prohibited from entering a store that sells guns unless they are accompanied by an adult.
• Each gun sale must be logged. Fingerprints of customers purchasing firearms or ammunition must be taken and kept in a fingerprint log. Sales must be kept in an inventory report.
• Stores must install security cameras to record sales and put up signs that warn customers about the potential dangers of owning or having access to a gun.
• Any dealer whose license is suspended or revoked will be publicly posted by the county’s Treasurer and Tax Collector on the department website.
In addition, gun and ammunition sellers will face higher fees. The cost of a first-year business license will increase from $739 to $954. The cost of an annual renewal will be raised from $299 to $577, according to a staff report.
“These are common sense regulations that will make sure gun dealers have basic security measures in place, maintain inventory, and keep records of who they sell guns and ammunition to,” Hahn said in a statement.
Some experts said the new restrictions on gun sellers may not stand up to the Second Amendment or to recent court rulings that have thrown out certain gun control measures adopted by local governments.
“I expect all these things to be challenged in court. But at the same time, these questions haven’t fully been litigated yet,” said Stephen Gutowski, editor of TheReload.com, a publication about gun politics and a CNN contributor on Tuesday.
He also said some of the elements of the new county ordinance were unusual. “I’ve never heard of anyone requiring fingerprinting by a gun store before. Usually fingerprinting is only required for gun carry permits, not purchases,” Gutowski said.
Under a landmark Supreme Court decision last June, firearm regulations must be “consistent with this nation’s historical tradition” to comply with Second Amendment protections. This could mean that modern gun laws must be consistent with how firearms were regulated historically.
The new county ordinance was approved by a 5-0 vote on first reading. A second reading and final vote is scheduled on Nov. 7. If it gets final approval, as expected, the ordinance will take effect on Dec. 7.
This is the third gun control ordinance adopted by the board in the past year or so.
Two other related ordinances were approved earlier this year. One bans the sale of .50 caliber firearms. The other outlaws carrying firearms on Los Angeles County property.
“The L.A. County Board consistently supports every ill-conceived gun control proposal while providing a free pass to the criminals wreaking havoc on their streets,” wrote Dan Reid, National Rifle Association Western Regional Director, in an emailed response in September 2022 when the board first proposed stricter gun control regulations.
Third District Supervisor Lindsey Horvath explained that the board stepped up efforts to control gun sales after the Jan. 21 slaying of 11 people in a shooting at a Monterey Park dance studio, the deadliest mass shooting in county history.
As of Sept. 30, 571 people have been killed and 1,947 have been injured in 487 mass shootings in the United States, according to the Gun Violence Archive, a nonprofit that tracks mass shootings in the U.S.
A fourth county ordinance that creates a 1,000-foot buffer zone between gun stores and schools, daycare centers, parks, and playgrounds, is being developed by the county’s Department of Regional Planning, Hahn said. It is expected to come before the board in November or December.
CNN contributed to this article.