Gun Question Comes to Redondo Beach : Beach town’s vote on gun-toting advisory measure will be watched across the nation


There’s enough gunfire already on California’s streets without state government encouraging it. That’s why Redondo Beach voters should reject a local measure that supports Sacramento lawmakers seeking legislation that could transform California localities into potential Dodge Cities.

The Redondo Beach measure would not have the force of law, as pro-gun proposals rejected recently in Stockton and Fresno would have had. Proposition E, on today’s municipal ballot, is an advisory measure that urges state lawmakers to ease restrictions on concealed-weapons permits.

A “yes” vote in effect promotes legislation recently introduced by Assemblyman William J. (Pete) Knight (R-Palmdale) and state Sen. Dick Monteith (R-Modesto) that would liberalize tight local standards and shift the authority to grant permits from local law enforcement officials, who are in a position to make those decisions, to state politicians, who decidedly are not.


Though Proposition E is only advisory, passage still could send a strong political message. And in a day when bullets are fired with impunity, encouragement for public gun-toting is entirely the wrong message to send.

In Stockton and Fresno, politicians had the good sense to abide by the judgment and expertise of their police chiefs, who resolutely warned of the danger to officers should the concealed-weapons floodgate be thrown open.

Last week the City of Pasadena displayed the right nerve and zeal when it passed the nation’s first law restricting local sales of ammunition. Like many other communities across the country, Pasadena is paying a heavy price for firearms proliferation, so its political leaders voted to discourage gun use by requiring that stores refuse to sell bullets unless the purchaser fills out a form.

Redondo Beach, at the southern end of Santa Monica Bay, is known primarily as a beach town and prime surfing spot. Less well known is the fact that this South Bay community is home to many active and retired law enforcement officers from throughout the region. These officers are well aware of the dangers of gun proliferation and the special problem it poses for police officers in the line of duty.

The voters of Redondo Beach should remember retired and current officers--many of them heroes past or present--when they go to the polls. A “no” vote could be another shot for gun sanity heard round the nation.