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Mission Hills man charged after school police find gun in stepson's locker

A Mission Hills man was charged with the illegal storage of a firearm after his stepson was caught taking an unloaded gun to school, Los Angeles City Atty. Mike Feuer’s office announced Tuesday morning.

Jose Munoz, 35, was charged with one count of criminal storage of a firearm carried off-premises to a public school and one count of unlawful storage of a firearm, the city attorney’s office said. He faces up to a year in jail and a $5,000 fine if convicted.

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On Sept. 13, Munoz’s 17-year-old stepson posted a photo on social media showing himself carrying a gun in his waistband while on the Grant High School campus. Another Grant High student notified school police of the image, and when school police searched the teenager’s locker, they said they found an unloaded .45-caliber semiautomatic pistol. The boy was not identified because he is a minor.

Police then searched the teen’s home, where they found an unlocked gun case and a handgun magazine in a backpack on the floor of Munoz’s closet, officials said.

Feuer said during a news conference Tuesday that his office has prosecuted a handful of similar cases.

“Safely storing guns saves lives, prevents crime and it’s the law,” Feuer said. “If an unsecured gun falls into the hands of a teenager and is taken to school, it’s a recipe for tragedy.”

City Councilman Paul Krekorian announced at the conference that he will introduce a motion to the council asking parents in the Los Angeles Unified School District to sign a pledge saying they will securely store their firearms, as required by law. The pledge is one of 33 recommendations from Feuer’s Blue Ribbon Panel on School Safety that aims to reduce gun violence.

“Locking up firearms helps prevent accidental shootings, it helps prevent a moment of teen angst to turn into an irreversible horrendous tragedy,” Krekorian said.

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