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Los Angeles Joins Other Cities To Ban Sale Of Cheap Handguns

Thu., Sept. 5, 1996

The city on Wednesday banned sales of so-called Saturday night specials, the cheap and easily concealed handguns criticized as the weapon of choice for criminals.

The ordinance, approved 13-0 by the City Council, takes effect in 30 days and is similar to one enacted in neighboring West Hollywood. That law undergoes a court test Oct. 3 by the California Rifle and Pistol Association Inc. and the National Rifle Association.

NRA state liaison Steve Helsley in Sacramento said only the state can restrict firearms. “It has since 1969,” he said. “Aside from the broader policy questions here and the question of law, this ban is just silly.”

The ordinance includes specifications of Saturday night specials and instructs the police chief to create and disseminate a list of specific models that meet the definition.

Los Angeles is the 12th California city, and its most populous, to ban sales of Saturday night specials. California has banned assault weapons but not handguns.

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