San Diego

Chula Vista Puts Pressure on Congress to Stop Gun Violence

Some members of the Chula Vista City Council turned their outrage into action Tuesday night, passing a resolution they hope will spur Congress curb gun violence.

From the El Paso massacre to the deadly Dayton Ohio shooting, to a gunman shooting up the Gilroy Garlic

Festival, Chula Vista Mayor Mary Salas is fed up with gun violence and the more than 200 mass shootings that have happened in the United States so far this year.

“We’re not talking about taking away pistols, we're not talking about taking away rifles, we’re talking about a ban on assault weapons. There's absolutely no reason someone not in the military or law enforcement should have these weapons," Mayor Salas said.

By a 3 to 2 vote, the council passed Mayor Salas’ resolution urging Congress to ban military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. The resolution also calls for comprehensive background checks and expanding mental health programs.

Councilmember Mike Diaz was one of the two councilmembers who voted against the resolution, saying there's too much of a focus on guns and not other causes.

“We can all agree on the mental health side,” Diaz said. “Look at our kids and they’re being medicated.”

Diaz added that he believes the Second Amendment is the most important right that we have. Without it, we have no other rights.”

Councilmember Steve Padilla, a gun owner who spent 13 years in law enforcement, argued the resolution “isn’t about rights. It’s about doing right.”

Padilla is calling for responsible gun laws to help protect people from gun violence, like Chula Vista resident Joaquin Vasquez.

“I’ve seen my dad defend my siblings from a guy who broke into the house and point a gun,” Vasquez said.

Mayor Salas says a copy of the resolution will be sent to Senators Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer.

Though the resolution doesn't have any power to compel Congress to action, some members of the Chula Vista City Council felt it was important to voice what they believe are the council’s moral values in hopes it will spur Congress to pass legislation.

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