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Tustin Council Again Rejects Ordinance on Brandishing Toy Guns

October 20, 1987|CAROLENE LANGIE | Times Staff Writer

For a second time, the Tustin City Council has rejected an ordinance that would make it a misdemeanor to brandish toy or replica guns in a threatening manner.

The emergency ordinance, which would have taken immediate effect, needed at least four votes from the five-member council, but the measure was defeated, 2 to 3, at Monday's meeting.

Councilman Ronald B. Hoesterey voted against the ordinance, saying, "It's not going to take one toy gun off the market" and said a similar law recently passed by the state Legislature has "taken care" of the problem.

The state law, which takes effect Jan. 1, makes brandishing a toy gun in a threatening manner punishable by a jail term, fine or both.

Mayor Pro Tem Ursula E. Kennedy said the emergency ordinance was drafted so that it would take effect before the upcoming holiday season.

"I asked the Police Department if they thought it (the ordinance) had any value in helping us get through the Christmas season when rates are high for using phony weapons, and they said yes," Kennedy said. "I think it's up to us to give the Police Department any assistance we can. It's such a small matter, if it helps one person, it's worth it," she said.

Tustin Mayor Richard B. Edgar also supported the measure.

"I'm very much in favor of the ordinance because people misuse toy guns. They brandish them to pretend they're shooting at someone, but some on the council say if it were a critical situation, the state law would be made immediate," Edgar said.

Council members denied the ordinance, 3 to 2, in its first reading Oct. 7.

Councilman John Kelly changed his earlier "yes" vote to deny the measure on Monday, also citing the impending state law. Councilman Earl J. Prescott also voted against the measure, calling such a duplicate measure "too costly."

The Orange County Board of Supervisors voted Sept. 15 to make it illegal to brandish toy guns, and Anaheim, Costa Mesa, Garden Grove and Los Angeles County have similar ordinances.

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