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Council to consider resolution on gun control

The Claremont City Council Tuesday night will decide whether or not to adopt a resolution supporting the assault weapons ban of 2013. The discussion begins at 6:30 p.m. in the City Council Chamber, 225 W. First St.

The assault weapons ban is currently being considered by the US Congress in response to recent mass shootings. If approved, the ban would stop “the sale, transfer, importation and manufacturing of military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition feeding devices,” according to Senator Dianne Feinstein.

While the Claremont City Council’s best practices states that “the city council will refrain from taking a policy stance on all matters clearly unrelated to the local jurisdiction,” several residents came forward at the last city council meeting to beg councilmembers to reconsider. 

“We are aware that the city council generally does not take action on issues that are being debated at the national level, but we think this is a matter which has serious local importance as well,” said Claremont resident Meg Mathies. “We are blessed that Claremont is a relatively safe community, but of course prior to the events at Sandy Hook Elementary School, the residents of Newtown felt that way about their community too.”

While Claremont is a notably safe community without a history of gun violence it does not preclude Claremont from gun crime, the staff report notes. In addition, signing a gun violence resolution would be keeping in line with City manager Tony Ramos’s position on the Public Safety Committee for the League of California Cities. For these reasons, city administrators suggest the council adopt the resolution.

In addition to supporting the assault weapons ban of 2013, residents are requesting that Mayor Larry Schroeder adds his name to the Mayors Against Illegal Guns Coalition. Mr. Schroeder noted his desire to join the coalition at the last council meeting, but is hoping to get the support of the council before signing on.

Before discussing gun control, the council will discuss possible litigation during closed session, beginning at 5:15 p.m. While the agenda does not specify what the litigation is about, on February 25 the California Alliance to Protect Private Property Rights (CAPPPR) stated its intent to file a lawsuit against the city if a second request for public documents regarding the city’s action to purchase Golden State Water Company was not met by Friday, March 1. The public may speak on the agenda item before the council adjourns into closed session. To view the full agenda for Tuesday night’s city council, visit www.ci.claremont.ca.us.

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