Despite the fact that violent crime has fallen significantly over the past thirty years in the Los Angeles area, violent crimes which involve the use of firearms have continued to be a significant problem for city and county officials.
As a state, California has some of the most restrictive gun laws within the United States. Examples of this include the obtaining of a hand gun safety certificate that is required for all handgun purchases and has been recently extended for larger weapons. Added to this, handgun weapons sold in California must be approved under licensing laws of the state.
With approximately three hundred homicides occurring in Los Angeles county in 2013, it was estimated that around seventy-five percent of them involved the use of a firearm in some capacity. Within other violent crimes, firearms were used at least fifty percent of the time.
One of the most significant court rulings so far this year has been the Peruta versus San Diego ruling. Handed down by the 9th district appeals court on the 13th February, it ruled that many aspects of California’s restrictions on concealed carry permits were unconstitutional. This ruling will inevitably have implications for the County of Los Angeles, with applications for permits already increasing significantly around the state.
Other aspect that will influence the defense laws of this state is the issue of stand your ground and the principal of the castle doctrine. With the trial of George Zimmerman gaining national attention, the issue of stand your ground, combined with the relaxation of CCW requirements will have legal implications.