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LOS ANGELES

Ban on 'Sniper' Rifles Proposed

September 25, 2002|From a Times Staff Writer

Expanding its citywide ban on assault weapons, the Los Angeles City Council took a step Tuesday to outlaw the sale and civilian possession of the .50-caliber rifles used by SWAT units and the military.

Although council members could not cite any crimes committed in L.A. involving the so-called "sniper" rifles, they said their unanimous action Tuesday--ordering legal language to outlaw the weapons--would prevent attacks on people and the city's infrastructure.

A state Assembly committee considered a similar statewide ban last spring but did not approve it.

At Tuesday's council meeting, two gun-rights advocates and the developer of a .50-caliber model argued that banning the long-distance rifles restricts the 2nd Amendment rights of law-abiding target shooters. A dozen speakers and the Los Angeles Police Department supported the gun ban.

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