LOS ANGELES – In the wake of recent mass shootings across the United States, Los Angeles County DA George Gascón is calling for massive changes to gun laws.
His plans include implementing reasonable gun control. He says people shouldn’t have access to assault rifles or ghost guns. Reinvest in struggling communities and address issues such as poverty, homelessness, and lack of economic opportunity and fund programs that would help end violence, such as after-school programs.
At a press conference on Wednesday, Gascón also said he was working with national credit card companies to prevent the purchase of ghost weapons online.
“In partnership with police and other community organizations, I have called on major credit card companies … Visa, MasterCard and American Express to help stem the flow of these weapons by stopping online payments for the process. “phantom weapons. I again urge companies to do the right thing and find ways to stop the sales. It really is a matter of life and death,” Gascón said.
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According to his office, ghost gun kits are sold online for around $350 to $500. People put them together to make functional firearms. The guns are unregistered and have no serial number, no valid background checks are also required.
He also highlighted the work of his Office of Victim Services’ Mass Victimization Crisis Response Teams, which are trained to help victims and families of mass shootings.
The teams provide crisis support and connect people to counseling services.
Crisis response teams helped victims of the Saugus High School and Long Beach mass shootings in 2019, the Borderline Bar and Grill shooting in 2018, and the Las Vegas massacre in 2017.
“We are in this position today because we have leaders in our country who are willing to disregard public safety, sell assault rifles to 18 year olds and spread racist hatred. if it helps them win elections,” said DA Gascón.
However, the DA has been criticized for not applying the firearms improvements in the cases it prosecutes.
Gascón was quickly criticized by Eric Siddall, the vice president of the Association of Assistant District Attorneys, which represents more than 800 assistant district attorneys in Los Angeles County.
“California’s gun laws are the strictest in the nation. Yet, for some inexplicable reason, Gascón refuses to enforce them,” Siddall said in a statement.
“Now he has the audacity to lecture the rest of the country on the danger of gun violence. His exploitation of this tragedy to spout political platitudes is unbecoming of his office. On one thing, we agree with Mr. Gascón, thoughts and prayers are not enough, neither are press conferences.
In February, the association announced that Los Angeles County prosecutors had voted overwhelmingly in favor of an effort to recall Gascón.