Gun Group Tells O’Connell He Is Recall Target

Times Staff Writer

Assemblyman Jack O’Connell (D-Carpinteria) has been targeted for recall by a group of local gun enthusiasts because he favors banning military assault rifles.

A group calling itself the Ventura County Freedom Coalition served O’Connell a notice of intent to recall Monday in Fillmore, where he was visiting constituents. The leader of the organization is Charles Townsend, a part-time astronomy instructor at Oxnard and Moorpark colleges.

O’Connell said he was not surprised when he was served the papers while holding “sidewalk office hours” in his district.

“I had been tipped off late last week about this. As far as I know, I am the only legislator that has been served. Mike Roos was told that he would be recalled, but as far as I know, I’m the first.


“I stand by my vote,” O’Connell said. “There is just no justification for these paramilitary assault weapons to be so widely available on the streets. The hoods are better armed than the law.”

Last week, O’Connell, along with the majority of the Assembly, voted for a bill to ban military assault rifles. That bill, introduced by Michael Roos (D-Los Angeles), would ban 36 models of rifles, eight types of pistols and three types of shotguns. The Senate also passed a broader bill on gun control. At present, a conference committee is working on a compromise between the two bills.

The recall group has 160 days to collect 21,992 signatures once their petition has been approved by the secretary of state’s office, according to a spokeswoman there.