AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File
Gun control advocates will sometimes claim that their proposals are needed to help police. Even the odd police chief will make the claim. What’s worse is that they really seem to believe that to be true.
However, campus police as Washington State University aren’t pleased with at least some provisions of the state’s controversial I-1639 law passed last year. It seems that one of the unintended consequences of the law would make their workload infinitely larger.
According to WSU assistant chief of police, Steven Hansen, the more rigorous background check process makes it difficult for the police force and students to store guns because it would require the police department to initiate a background check every time a student asked to check out their firearm. The new law would also require a mental health check by a state mental health provider each time a student asked to check out their firearm, a process that could take over a week, according to the Daily Evergreen.
WSU students previously stored between 50 and 70 guns with the WSU campus police, a service that will no longer be available.
“We’re disappointed that we can’t provide a valuable service anymore,” Hansen expressed. “Everyone I’ve talked to has also expressed disappointment, but they’ve understood why.”
Now, bear in mind that the way firearms are handled on campuses is kind of the ultimate “safe storage” setup. They’re stored in a vault in a police station. There’s not much chance of criminals breaking in and stealing them and there’s no chance of someone just stumbling onto a students firearm and using it inappropriately.
And thanks to I-1639, it’s over.
It’s not practical at all to handle the checkout of a firearm as if it’s a legal transfer of ownership, but the law wasn’t written by people who are all that familiar with the myriad of ways guns change hands. It was written by gun control activists who only know what the scare stories told by other gun control activists claim.
As a result, these 50 to 70 rifles will need to be stored elsewhere. Just where, however, is a good question.
I’m willing to bet that none of those locations are going to be nearly as secure as a police station vault. As a result, some of those guns that would be stored with WSU’s police department may well be stolen, thus entering the black market and potentially be used in crimes.
You know, the kind of thing I-1639 proponents said the law was supposed to prevent?
Whenever you pass a law, something you should consider is what are the consequences of that law. I’m not talking about what the law is supposed to do, but the second- and greater-order impacts down the road. I’m talking about the unintended consequences of a law. In this case, it’s actually making guns more susceptible to theft and misuse. In other cases, it will be different, obviously. There will always be unintended consequences, though.
In Washington state, students don’t get to store their firearms on campus, and that’s something the legislature really should address. Too bad there’s small chance of that happening.