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Sunday

Two Teenagers Take Aim at Banning Ammunition Sales in L.A.

Aired August 6, 2000 - 4:16 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

BRIAN NELSON, CNN ANCHOR: Many 13-year-old boys are content to spend their spare time collecting Pokemon cards or skateboarding or something -- well, a pair of twin brothers from California have taken on a much bigger task.

CNN's Jennifer Auther has their story now from Los Angeles.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JENNIFER AUTHER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Twins Niko and Theo Milonopoulos don't mind shooting hoops, but they have taken a serious aim at banning ammunition sales in the city of Los Angeles.

NIKO MILONOPOULOS, GUN CONTROL ACTIVIST: This, we feel, is a kids issue. I mean, learning that kids are going in and shooting kids at their own school, I mean, you can't even think about going to school and being safe.

THEO MILONOPOULOS, GUN CONTROL ACTIVIST: And we feel that kids and guns don't mix.

AUTHER: Motivated by the Ennis Cosby murder three years ago, then a bank shootout in north Hollywood about a month later, Niko and Theo spent 18 months collecting 7,000 signatures, all from minors. They've won support from L.A.'s police chief Bernard Parks.

POLICE CHIEF BERNARD PARKS, LOS ANGELES POLICE DEPARTMENT: If it saves one life it is worth it. Eighty percent of the people who die in this city die from guns. We also see that the people who die are very young, 17 to 32, 33 years of age. The people who kill them are very young, 14 to 24.

AUTHER: Before their 13th birthday, the Milonopoulos twins got L.A. City Councilman Mike Hernandez to present their motion for a vote.

N. MILONOPOULOS: Stop the guns and bullets and killings of the kids.

AUTHER: That was a year ago, and even Capitol Hill has noticed. Niko and Theo have received presidential service awards, not to mention letters of support.

Meantime, some target range owners in L.A. say up to 20 percent of their income would be affected by a ban on ammunition sales.

PAUL COLE, PRES., THE TARGET RANGE: If I felt that even 20 percent of crime, or even less was cut down by what they're doing, I wouldn't even hesitate, I'd be 100 percent behind what they're doing. But let's go after the criminals.

AUTHER: Theo and Niko say they aren't discouraged by that type of thinking. Their proposed ordinance comes up for a vote before city council next month. Several members say it has a good chance of passing.

Jennifer Auther, CNN, Los Angeles.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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