AP Photo/Dave Martin
While I think everyone should store their firearms safely, especially if there are kids in the house, I don’t like laws that tell people to do so. I think that’s true of a whole lot of gun rights advocates.
In California, though, the state seems to prefer telling people what to do.
One assemblywoman, however, is pointing out to her colleagues that this is going too far.
Assemblywoman Marjorie Byrnes, R-Caledonia, says legislation passed by the state Legislature that requires gun owners to keep firearms in a locked cabinet or equipped with a trigger-locking device, especially in households with children younger than 16 years old, is “overly restrictive.”
The state Assembly and Senate passed the law (S2450/A2686) on March 4, five weeks after lawmakers approved a package of other gun-control measures.
The latest measure, sponsored by Sen. Liz Krueger, D-Manhattan, and Assemblywoman Amy Paulin, D-Westchester, makes it a misdemeanor offense to fail to securely store a rifle, shotgun or other firearm or render it incapable of being fired when a child is in a home.
Assembly and Senate Republicans who voted against the measure said it’s an infringement on Second Amendment rights to bear arms and could leave a gun owner defenseless against intruders.
This, of course, is true.
Safe storage laws don’t make anyone safer. Instead, they make it more difficult to gain access to a firearm in the crucial moments when you need it. As if the sound of breaking glass isn’t stressful enough, now California officials want you do have to deal with opening a gun safe or releasing a trigger lock.
I can’t help but wonder just how long until I have to write a story where the homeowner had a gun but couldn’t get to it before the intruder brutally murdered them.
I know it’ll happen. It’s only going to be a matter of when.
Many of these laws are motivated by people who say they’re trying to protect kids. They’re arguing that children plunder and explore and if they find a gun, they’re likely to play with it. That can result in tragedy.
The problem is, the issue here isn’t the gun. It’s kids going through other people’s things and messing with things that they shouldn’t.
I’m not about to pretend that it won’t happen, but I can also tell you that if you teach your children about firearms early and often, you’re not likely to have any problems. They’re far less likely to do anything stupid.
“But you can’t trust that parents will do that,” someone will say, and they wouldn’t be wrong. We’ve seen far too many cases where parents haven’t. Maybe it’s a kid whose parents don’t own guns. Sometimes it’s even parents who do.
Where are these people in calling for firearm safety education in public schools? We know that teaching kids about guns and how to handle them safely will do far, far more to keep them safe than demanding new laws, yet the anti-gunners still won’t even consider this as an option.
They’d much rather tell people what to do.