San Diego Considers New Safe Storage Policy

Townhall Media/Beth Baumann

Safe storage laws are laws that sound good on paper, especially if you don’t know anything about firearms or self-defense, but in practice creates all kinds of problems. Of course, communities that adopt so-called safe storage laws rarely give a flying flip about what difficulties they cause for much of anyone. They have to be seen as “doing something.”


That’s probably at least part of what’s driving an effort in San Diego, California to pass such a law.

San Diego City Attorney, Mara Elliott has asked the City Council to consider a draft ordinance that would require mandatory locked storage of firearms in the home and would propose a conflicting law regarding the reporting of lost or stolen firearms.  Ms. Elliott works closely with gun control advocates in the City and made a strong effort to justify her request for the City to take action at the June meeting of the Public Safety and Livable Neighborhoods Committee. While the Committee was divided on the issue, the proposal did get enough votes to put it before the full City Council for consideration.

CRPA has submitted a letter of opposition to the City Council outlining all of the missed considerations and statistics showing that mandatory storage laws do not keep people safe and are ineffective in accomplishing the goals outlined by the City Attorney.  The City Council will consider the draft resolution on Monday, July 15, 2019 at 2:00 p.m. in the City Administration Building, Council Chambers, 12th Floor, 202 “C” Street, San Diego, CA, 92101.


Of course, if you’re in San Diego, I encourage you to attend the meeting and make your voice heard.

Not only are safe storage laws horrible at accomplishing the goals in question, but they also make personal defense more difficult. If you hear the sound of glass breaking, the last thing you need to do is be fumbling with a lock of any kind.

Now, I’m an advocate of locking your guns up if they’re not in use. I just have a different definition of “in use” than someone like the San Diego City Attorney. Keeping a handgun in the nightstand or an AR-15 by the door in case someone decides that locked doors somehow constitute an invitation to enter your home counts as “in use” by my standards.

I somehow doubt Mara Elliott feels the same way.

Laws like this sound good to people who don’t know anything about the subject. After all, why not keep the guns locked up? You can always get to them if you need them, right?

Unfortunately, when the adrenaline is kicking in during a home invasion, fine motor control falls apart. Guess what you need to use to manipulate a lock? That’s right, fine motor skills. That’s why laws like this are wrongheaded to an extreme. They’re crafted by people who think they understand the issue and rarely ever do. Further, they don’t want to listen to people who have researched this or even experienced it. They think they know better, despite all evidence to the contrary.


If you’re someone affected, show up and make sure your voice is heard. I don’t know that it’ll stop the law, but it might, and you already know what happens if you don’t try.

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