NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — Thursday, Mayor LaToya Cantrell signed the Responsible Gun Ownership ordinance.
The ordinance created a penalty of six months in jail and a $500 fine for adults whose guns get into the hands of children. Improperly storing guns has led to multiple children getting hurt or hurting others over the last few years in the city.
“The explosion of gun violence and access to guns has harmed over 20 kids just in the last couple years from the ages of 2-16,” Councilman Oliver Thomas said.
These unintentional shootings have happened inside homes, cars and at parades.
Mayor Cantrell posted a video of her signing the ordinance to Instagram saying, “this ordinance is about promoting life and holding adults accountable” and, “we’re taking action in the city of New Orleans to save lives.”
NOPD Supt. Michelle Woodfork released a statement saying, “our children are our greatest assets, and keeping them safe is our duty as a society. I wholeheartedly support this ordinance as it ensures accountability for firearm owners by penalizing the practice of unsafe and careless storage. Our detectives assigned to the Special Victims Section who work tirelessly to keep our children safe are appreciative of this effort.”
According to Thomas, the ordinance is about more than just penalties. It’s about creating awareness.
“The [NOPD] Lieutenant who is heading this along with Chief Woodfork have said that good gun education efforts is in store to accompany efforts like this,” Thomas said. “I think it’s been needed, it’s definitely needed right now and I’m looking forward to being a part of that.”