When you're out in your community or hopping on the DASH, take a close at the new ads on LA streets raising awareness about gun safety.
This week, the City of Los Angeles again asserted itself as a leading voice in the national gun violence prevention debate as 200 LA Department of Transportation DASH buses hit the streets outfitted with new, educational advertisements urging Angelenos to "Lock it Up" and safely store their firearms when not in use.
The ads read: "Lock it up: Never let your gun get in the wrong hands" and feature a provocative photo of a young child holding a handgun, illustrating the extreme perils of keeping guns unlocked and loaded at home. LA's "Lock it up" campaign is a partnership I launched in Los Angeles in collaboration with the Ad Council and the National Crime Prevention Council, with funding by the Bureau of Justice Assistance, U.S. Department of Justice. I'm proud to say that Los Angeles is the first city in the country to mount such a large-scale public outreach campaign urging gun safety.
In 2015, the full City Council passed my landmark law mandating the safe storage of handguns in the home by requiring that handguns be stored in a locked container or disabled with a trigger lock. LA's policy goes further than California state law, which requires that locks be sold with handguns, but fails to require gun owners to use them. The law is meant to make children and families more secure in their homes, schools and around the city by keeping firearms out of the wrong hands. Los Angeles also outlawed the possession of large-capacity ammunition magazines (more than 10 rounds) within city limits in 2015, making national headlines by becoming the largest West Coast city to do so.
It's the law in Los Angeles to lock up your guns at home and this public awareness campaign will help spread the word across the city. There are far too many avoidable tragedies that happen when firearms aren't stored properly in the home. We are aiming to reduce the likelihood of accidents by getting responsible gun owners to act responsibly and follow the law.
I'm so proud to partner with these organizations to urge Angelenos to store their guns responsibly and safely. Here's what our partners at the Ad Council and the NCPC have to say about LA's campaign:
"By safely storing your firearm, you're doing your part to keep those around you safe," said Lisa Sherman, President and CEO of the Ad Council. "It's great to see the community of Los Angeles getting behind this important issue and helping to prevent senseless tragedies."
"NCPC applauds the steps the city of Los Angeles is taking to promote safe firearms storage and a healthy discourse about storage options, said Ann M. Harkins, NCPC President and CEO. "We're excited to see our campaign have an impact in such a meaningful manner."
I hope that these ads start many conversations throughout the city and help spark a dialogue on the issue of gun safety in other cities and in Washington, D.C. If you agree that we can and must do more to keep our families safe, please join me in the fight for more common-sense laws to prevent gun violence.
See more photos of the bus ads here.