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CRIME : Pasadena Considers Plan to Require Ammunition Registration

SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

In the wake of the Halloween, 1993, slayings of three boys, the Pasadena City Council is considering whether to require people who buy ammunition in the city to fill out a registration form.

The proposed ordinance is backed by the Pasadena Police Department and the Coalition for a Non-Violent City, a group formed amid the outrage over the Halloween-night killings in Pasadena. But the measure also faces opposition.

The council, under pressure from the local gun lobby, decided Tuesday to hold off for two weeks before making a preliminary decision about the ordinance.

The ordinance would require anyone buying ammunition at the city’s three gun shops to fill out a form for the city’s Police Department with the customer’s name, address, driver’s license number, employer, Social Security number, and the type and serial numbers of the ammunition purchased, city officials said.

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Pasadena Police Chief Jerry Oliver and coalition members say such information would assist police officers in investigations by allowing them to compare serial numbers of ammunition used in crimes with those on forms.

“To my knowledge, this would be the first time a city has required the registration of ammunition,” said Carolyn Y. Williams, assistant city attorney. “We have an opinion from the California attorney general saying municipalities can enact such a local law.”

Williams, who spent almost a year working on the ordinance with the coalition, said that she and police officers have met with gun shop owners and that they seem willing to accept the forms.

But at Monday night’s council meeting, which ran into Tuesday, council members delayed a decision on the ordinance until Jan. 23. Councilman William M. Paparian and half a dozen other opponents attacked the ordinance and argued that it would do nothing to reduce the number of murders and shootings in Pasadena. Opponents of the measure include members of the National Rifle Assn.-Council of Pasadena.

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Coalition members defended the law. “If the city of Pasadena is bold enough to take this first step, they will be joined by other communities,” said Ted Jones, acting executive director of the coalition.


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