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'Lock up your guns': City attorney charges parents of teens who reportedly threatened schools

'Lock up your guns': City attorney charges parents of teens who reportedly threatened schools
Los Angeles City Atty. Mike Feuer has filed charges against two local parents over unsecured weapons; the charges followed reports that their children threatened their school peers. (Branden Camp / Associated Press)

The Los Angeles city attorney on Monday announced charges against two parents who kept unsecured guns in their homes and whose children threatened violence against their schools and peers, officials said.

City Atty. Mike Feuer filed the charges last week against San Fernando Valley parents Robert Christy and Dazo Esguerra accusing both fathers of keeping firearms easily accessible to teenage sons who made threats in February, Feuer's office said.

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"For goodness' sake, lock up your guns. There's no excuse not to," Feuer said Monday in a prepared statement. "Locking up firearms saves lives and it's the law. Incidents like these are potential school shooting tragedies waiting to happen. My office will continue taking swift, decisive action against parents who don't safely store their guns."

Christy, 59, faces three misdemeanor counts of unlawful storage of a firearm and faces up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine for each count, officials said. Prosecutors say that on Feb. 5, Christy's 16-year-old son made threats to other students that he was going to shoot up Chatsworth Charter High School and had made "numerous references" to his parents' guns.

On Feb. 17, three days after a gunman killed 17 people at a high school in Florida, Los Angeles School Police searched the local teen's home after a parent reported his previous threats, officials said.

Investigators found two revolvers and a semi-automatic handgun unsecured in a bag behind a dresser in the home's master bedroom along with 90 rounds of ammunition. An unsecured rifle was found in the bedroom closet, authorities said.

In Esguerra's case, police were following up on reports that his 17-year-old son had made threats involving a gun to a student at Granada Hills Charter High School and had made social media posts with a firearm.

Officers searched the boy's home and found a loaded semi-automatic handgun in a bag in Esguerra's closet along with a loaded magazine.

Esguerra, 50, faces one count each of criminal storage of a firearm and unlawful storage of a firearm and faces up to six months in jail and $1,000 in fines for each count.

Both parents are scheduled to be arraigned April 2, Feuer's office said.

"School safety begins at home, and so does the potential for school tragedies," City Councilmember Paul Krekorian, author of the city's safe storage mandate, said in a statement. "Parents who own guns must lock them up to prevent them from falling into the wrong hands. It is intolerable for us as a government or society to allow young people to be endangered in the very places they should feel secure, which is why the City of Los Angeles is doing everything in its power to curb gun violence."

For breaking California news, follow @JosephSerna on Twitter.

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