LOS ANGELES – City Attorney Mike Feuer today announced that his Gun Violence Prevention Unit has filed two criminal counts against a South Los Angeles father for allegedly keeping an assault weapon, unsecured in his closet. The allegedly unsecured weapon was discovered by law enforcement after the man’s teenage son is alleged to have brought an unloaded handgun to his high school.
"Locking up guns saves lives, prevents crime and it’s the law," said Feuer. "Unsecured firearms are a major source of crime guns in Los Angeles, so we’re holding gun owners accountable for safely and lawfully locking them up."
"Guns don't come with an undo button," said Los Angeles City Council President Herb Wesson who represents parts of South L.A. "The consequences of a pulled trigger last a lifetime and as lawmakers we must protect innocent lives."
"Safe storage of firearms is not optional in Los Angeles, it is required,"
said Councilmember Paul Krekorian, the City Council’s leader on gun violence prevention. "We want to keep innocent children and family members safe from accidents, and prevent firearms from getting stolen and becoming crime guns on our streets. As a City Councilmember, I have spent years working to protect the public from the scourge of gun violence. Our City Attorney, Mike Feuer, has always been a partner in this, and I applaud his decision to prosecute this case, along with his continued, vigorous work on the issue."
Jaime Sanchez, 54, was charged with two criminal counts including possession of an assault weapon and unlawful storage of a firearm. The maximum penalty is 18 months in jail and a $1,000 fine. Arraignment is scheduled for January 16, 2018 in Department 48.
In November 2017, Sanchez’s 15 year-old son allegedly was found by school officials at Washington High School to be in possession of a 9mm semi-automatic handgun. Responding officers were told there were other weapons at the home in South Los Angeles where four minors lived. Investigating officers were given permission by Sanchez to search the home and were directed to a plastic gun case in the bedroom closet.
Inside the unlocked gun case, officers allegedly found an unsecured and unloaded Tec-9 assault weapon with a separate 30-round large capacity magazine. The assault weapon allegedly was not properly registered. Officers also allegedly discovered a partially secured unloaded .380 semi-automatic handgun as well as five pounds of loose ammunition inside the gun case. More than 50 rounds of 9mm ammunition were also allegedly recovered from a separate closet. All weapons and ammunition were confiscated and taken into law enforcement custody.
The case is being prosecuted by Deputy City Attorney Margie Barron, who is assigned to prosecute gun cases arising out of the new Crime Gun Intelligence Center in LAPD’s 77th Division, as well as identifying gun violence hot-spots throughout the City and vertically prosecuting high-risk firearm cases in those areas.
Unlocked weapons in homes pose a serious public safety threat, not only to the occupants, but also running the risk of being stolen by criminals. Since January 2016, LAPD reports that there have been 1,118 criminal incidents involving one or multiple stolen guns, including 565 incidents of burglary.