ENCINITAS — During last week’s meeting, Council voted 5-0 to pass a resolution supporting federal legislation from U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein that would ban some assault weapons.
Mayor Teresa Barth brought the item before Council. The city’s staff report notes that Encinitas does not have any licensed firearm dealers. But Barth said at the meeting it’s important cities “speak up.”
“While I realize that these actions may only be symbolic, I believe we must speak up,” Barth said at the meeting. “We can not accept that this type of violence visited our children and innocent citizens time and time again is somehow the price we have to pay for freedom.”
Three people spoke at the meeting. All were in favor of the resolution, including Jacqueline Keavney-Lader a San Diego resident that survived the movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colo. last year.
“Later on we realized the shooter was carrying a AR-15 — a civilian version of the gun I carried in the Marine Corps,” Keavney-Lader said. “This gun is solely made, not for sportsmanship, not for hunting, not for home defense, it is solely made for killing people.”
After the meeting, Barth noted city staff had received one email against the resolution.
When asked whether the resolution risks alienating some residents in Encinitas, Barth said that she introduced the resolution at the request of citizens, and that “something needs to be done.”
She believes Feinstein’s legislation would protect people without infringing on 2nd Amendment rights.
“This would respect hunters’ rights,” Barth said.
The proposal resembles the assault weapons ban that expired in 2004. The legislation would ban the sale, transfer, importation or manufacturing of certain assault weapons. It also bans magazines that can hold more than 10 rounds.
Lemon Grove passed a similar resolution several months ago.
Additionally, the resolution authorized Barth to join Mayors Against Illegal Guns. More than 720 mayors, including Chula Vista Mayor Cheryl Cox, from 40 states are part of the group.
The National Rifle Association and other gun-rights advocates have vehemently opposed any proposal to curb assault rifles.
Barth also said there’s a mental health component to mass shootings that can’t be denied. She said she’s going to monitor state and federal legislation, as well as other mental-health efforts, and potentially bring back more information to Council.