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After Violent Weekend, S.F. Leaders Seek New Gun-Free Zones

San Francisco leaders want to expand the number of gun-free places across the city after a series of brazen shootings over the weekend that left at least a dozen people injured. Supervisor Catherine Stefani and City Attorney David Chiu announced a new ordinance that would add more places where guns are prohibited, including hospitals, parks, movie theaters, places of worship, restaurants, grocery stores and voting sites, reports KQED. “These are spaces where individuals should feel safe, secure and free from the threat of violence,” said Stefani." By increasing the possibility of concealed weapons being present, these locations face increased potential for harm, which creates an environment of fear and unease in our everyday lives.”

San Francisco already bars firearms in certain settings, including at parades, protests and other public gatherings. But those with a valid license to carry a concealed weapon are currently still allowed to be armed in most other public settings. Violators of the new ordinance would be charged with a misdemeanor, carrying a maximum fine of $1,000 and six months in jail. The push for more gun restrictions comes after a particularly violent weekend in which a shooter on Friday night injured nine bystanders at a block party in the Mission District, and three more people were shot and injured two days later at a nightclub. Shootings in San Francisco have increased by 74% over the past five years, with 158 people killed. “As Americans endure yet another year of deadly mass shootings, we must do more to protect our communities from gun violence,” said Chiu. “The Second Amendment was never intended to prevent people from safely exercising other fundamental rights like going to school, voting in person, or worshiping. There is a longstanding expectation that these sensitive areas should be free of firearms, and that expectation should be enshrined in the law.”

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