In last week's Arcata City Council Meeting, city council was addressed by North Coast Prepatory Academy students Olivia Joachim and Eva Swartz presented several facts about gun control laws throughout the state and country.
"The practices of keeping firearms locked, unloaded and storing ammunition in a locked location separate from firearms serve as protective measures that reduce youth suicide and unintentional injury in homes of teenagers where guns are stored," they continued. "In 12 states where child access prevention laws have been in effect for more than one year, unintentional firearms deaths fell by 23 percent from 1990 to 1994 among children under 15 years of age."
City council and staff agreed to have a safe storage firearms ordinance written. If the ordinance is passed, it will require firearms to be unloaded and stored in lockers or safes within Arcata city limits.
The council also discussed the issue of enforcement and if the ordinance would make a difference. Council member Paul Pitino said this was a small movement, but it was also a step in the right direction.
“I think what this does is it symbolically tells whoever owns that gun that you've got to control it. I look at this as the beginning of us trying to control gun violence somehow," Pitino said. "And it's not a real fantastic way to do it, but I think it starts the conversation, makes it a little more difficult for people who own it and don't want to be caught. Personally, I don't think we should even allow guns in our city."
The ordinance is being drafted by city staff. In closing of the subject, Arcata City Mayor Sofia Pereira said she and other council members were proud that young people were involved in presenting information on gun control.
“We're looking forward to where this goes from here and the conversation, but I think just to Council member Winkler's point, just that it's really great when young people can get involved. I appreciate you, you stepping up in this way,” Pereira said.
Pereira also stated if the ordinance is drafted she would like to include public education on the matter, like proper gun safety and how to obtain a safe for firearms locally.