In an effort to target local gangs, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa unveiled a series of new initiatives to combat gun violence at a press conference this morning. (Part of the conference involved a display of seized guns-- nothing like a good gun display.) Among the many proposed initiatives by the Mayor was this one: "Giving landlords the power to evict tenants convicted of using and possessing illegal weapons and ammunition."
According to a spokesperson for the Mayor's office, a new state law gives the city attorney the authority to start eviction proceedings and includes unlawful possession of or use of illegal weapons or ammunition as reason for eviction. But the state law permits eviction only if the offense occurs on the premises--eviction is not permitted if the offense occurs outside the boundaries of the property.
According to the spokesperson, the new ordinance will enable the city attorney to start eviction proceedings if a tenant uses or possesses illegal guns or ammunition within 1,000 feet of a property. "In other words, if a tenant carries or uses an illegal weapon in a way that threatens the safety and security of a building or property, they are subject to eviction on those grounds," noted the spokesperson.
According to the Los Angeles Times, "because landlords might fear retaliation from gang members, the city's legal team will work to force suspects who illegally possess weapons and ammunition out of their homes, said City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo." (Yes, do you want to be the landlord kicking out a gang member?) How effective this will be in actually targeting gangs remains to be seen.
· Villaraigosa wants to use gun restrictions, databases to take on gangs [LA Times]