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Media Coverage
Richmond Oks Trigger Locks For Guns
August 28, 1996



Wednesday, August 28, 1996
Section: News
Page: A03

RICHMOND Taking part in a push among East Bay cities to limit handgun violence, the City Council on Tuesday night approved unanimously a requirement that all guns sold in Richmond come equipped with a trigger lock.

In other business, the council also passed a resolution in support of City Manager Floyd Johnson, following a spirited discussion.

The trigger lock is a steel device priced at about $8 that requires a key or a combination lock to remove, said Police Chief Bill Lansdowne. A gun cannot be operated if the lock is in place.

Lansdowne said after the discussion that three children have been seriously injured in Richmond this year because they were playing with guns.

There was little discussion of the item among council members

Despite angry pleas from a half-dozen speakers who oppose controls on gun sales, the council also gave final unanimous approval to ban junk guns, commonly known as Saturday night specials. The vote ratified a decision the council made in an earlier vote.

The resolution in favor of Johnson was initiated by Mayor Rosemary Corbin. Six council members supported the vote of confidence, with council members Donna Powers and Tom Butt abstaining. Alex Evans was absent.

The discussion was not without rancor.

Several council members immediately tried to take the discussion behind closed doors, arguing that it was a personnel matter. A motion by Councilman Nat Bates to table the item failed.

The item gave two community members and Powers the opportunity to blast the city manager.

"I am still struggling with six major problems that have been on the books for six years," said business owner Norma Simmons. "I've referred all of these to the city manager and nothing happens."

Others spoke in his defense.

"He has shown an amazing ability to lead," said former Councilwoman LaVonne Niccolls. In her 10 years on the council until her retirement last November, Niccolls said, she found Johnson to be "one of, if not the best city managers that you've ever had. Work with him."