SACRAMENTO -- Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. has signed into law a bill reinstating a pilot program authorizing specified City Attorneys, including Los Angeles, to evict tenants who unlawfully possess or sell illegal firearms or ammunition on the premises. The pilot program sunset on January 1, 2014.
AB 2310, authored by Assembly Member Sebastian Ridley-Thomas and Assembly Member Roger Dickinson, was sponsored by Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer. It passed both houses of the Legislature with overwhelming bipartisan support.
“This law provides my Office with an important tool that will help keep communities safe from illegal guns,” said City Attorney Feuer. “We have effectively used this approach in the past and expect to employ in our future work to prevent gun violence.”
“Neighborhood safety is a top priority for every community in California,” said Assembly Member Sebastian Ridley-Thomas. “Residents cannot be safe in their homes and apartments when persons possess illegal weapons or engage in unlawful firearms and ammunition sales from their rented units. I applaud Governor Jerry Brown for signing AB 2310 into law to provide city attorneys and landlords with an effective tool to evict tenants who possess illegal weapons or sell guns and ammunition from the homes or apartments they rent. This effort has been particularly successful in Los Angeles due to the diligent neighborhood safety efforts advanced by Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer. Illegal weapons and unlawful weapons dealings have no place in our neighborhoods.”
AB 2310 authorizes the City Attorney to notify the property owner of a weapon or ammunition related crime committed on the premises by the tenant and requires the property owner to evict that tenant. The City Attorney also notifies the tenant of the City’s ability to begin the eviction process. If the property owner fears for his/her safety, the bill authorizes the City Attorney to bring an unlawful detainer action on the owner’s behalf, helping shield landlords from retaliatory threats or violent reprisals.
From 2010-2013 the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office sent out 85 notification letters pursuant to the pilot program. More than 30% of the tenants vacated their units following receipt of those notices. Property owners filed cases in approximately 25% of the remaining matters.