Hollywood gets to keep its weapons lethal. Or, at least for movie and television purposes, fully loaded and lethal looking.
The Los Angeles City Council voted to exempt film and television producers, historical societies and museums from an ordinance limiting the capacity of ammunition magazines to 10 rounds.
Council members voted 11-3 Tuesday to amend the city’s weapons ordinance. The amendment now goes to Mayor Richard Riordan for final approval.
Although many officials expressed concern about violence in movies and TV encouraging real crime, some said the ban would only force the entertainment industry to abandon Los Angeles and film elsewhere.
“The ordinance that we passed is designed to make it more difficult for criminals to obtain important tools of violence,” said Councilman Mike Feuer, who authored the law and amendments. “It was never intended to address or influence the motion picture industry.”
The exemption lets filmmakers use the high-capacity weapons — with blanks — and move the ammunition around the city.
If the council had refused to grant the exemption, and the industry had not been exempted, simply taking magazines and clips from one location to another would have been illegal.
Among those who opposed the exemption was Councilman Mike Hernandez, who pointed out shootings in neighboring cities, such as Inglewood and Compton, as evidence of Hollywood’s influence on real life.
“There were six shootings last night,” Hernandez said. “I don’t know what the movie industry is doing to assure us that they will deal with these issues.”
Councilman Nate Holden, who also opposed the amendment, agreed, saying a movie he recently attended appalled him.
“I could barely look at it,” he said. “For an hour and a half there was just shooting and killing. … All they are portraying is violence — the thing you want to stop.”
Feuer said banning the use of large ammo clips in Los Angeles productions would inspire runaway entertainment production instead of runaway street violence.
“Applying the ordinance to prop companies in L.A. would not have the effect you’re promoting, which is to somehow lessen the amount of violence depicted in movies,” Feuer said.
The law prohibits sale or transfer of magazine clips carrying more than 10 rounds; requires trigger locks be sold with every gun; requires a background check for all gun dealers; bans so-called Saturday Night Special handguns; and requires a thumb print for anyone purchasing ammunition.