Honoring Ira Sharp: Firearm Accountability Act Passed

On June 4, the San Diego City Council unanimously passed the Ira Sharp Firearm Dealer Accountability Act (FDAA), establishing procurement protocols to ensure that firearm dealers are awarded city contracts only if they have complied with all state and federal firearm laws. The Act’s title honors Del Mar gun activist Ira Sharp (d. June 10, 2023), who worked for years on gun safety issues: ending gun sales on state fairgrounds, banning ghost gun sales, and promoting education to protect families from firearm deaths.


Supporters of the Act, including its author, Councilmember Marti von Wilpert, City Attorney Mara Elliot, Rose Ann Sharp, who worked closely with her husband Ira on gun issues, Del Mar City Councilmember Dwight Worden, gun safety activists (including Del Marians Jennifer Lonbom and Alice McNally), and law enforcement representatives, held a press conference following the Council vote to underscore the significance of the Act. “Taxpayer dollars should not be used to purchase firearms and ammunition from dealers that skirt the law and expose our communities to public safety threats,” City Attorney Elliott said.


Councilmember von Wilpert highlighted the Act’s “clear protocols to ensure that our city does not conduct business with firearm dealers that have histories of unlawful transfers, including sales to straw purchasers, failures to perform background checks, or have failed to follow essential documentation procedures.”

Those celebrating the Act’s passage included Rose Ann Sharp (at podium), Councilmember Marti von Wilpert (at left), Del Mar City Councilmember Dwight Worden, and City Attorney Mara Elliot (center). Photo: Betty Wheeler.

Rose Ann Sharp expressed thanks “for this Act which honors Ira, creates a permanent legacy in his name, and acknowledges the importance of the last piece of legislation that Ira championed before he died.” She recalled that immediately after the Parkland shooting, “then Del Mar Mayor Dwight Worden asked me to meet him. He said, ‘YOU must do something.’ I went back to Ira and said, ‘WE must do something. The very next day, the WE became 15 key strategists. Together we formed NeverAgainCA. Some of these founding members are here to celebrate with us.” Sharp praised von Wilpert’s leadership in passing the first ghost gun bill in 2021, Mara Elliot’s work on statewide implementation of gun violence restraining orders, and the work of the Brady Center on gun violence safety legislation and litigation. “Today,” she said, “you are looking at the good that Ira was proud to inspire and work with. Thank you for being here and the honor that you have bestowed on Ira’s work.”