San Diego Self-Defense Case Undermines Safe Storage Effort

AP Photo/Lisa Marie Pane, File

The idea behind safe storage laws makes sense to those who are unfamiliar with what goes into using a gun for home defense. Those who spend little time pondering what they would do if a window would break in the middle of the night also spend little time thinking about how to deal with it. In their mind, you’d have plenty of time to unlock a safe to retrieve a firearm.


It doesn’t work that way.

Further, not everyone in the family would have the combination or key. That means only those who have the knowledge or tools needed to unlock the safe could unlock it.

Earlier this week, I wrote about an effort in San Diego to enact a safe storage law there. It’s one of the dozens that have been considered in California alone.

However, had it been in place, this story would have gone a little differently.

A burglar who attacked and stabbed a Lake Murray man today during an early-morning confrontation in the victim’s house was fatally shot moments later by the wounded homeowner’s adult son, according to San Diego police.

This particular case is leading people to question the logic of the San Diego City Attorney Mara Elliot’s new law that would require gun owners to safely store their guns in either a safe or with a trigger device when not in use.

“The suspect began assaulting the homeowner, at which point the homeowner’s 20-year old son retrieved a firearm and shot the intruder.”

The situation is making residents think twice about the new law that, if it were already in effect, could have altered the outcome of this burglary.

And it probably would have.

Now, we don’t know why the adult son was in the house. Did he live there or was he just visiting? We don’t know. However, it doesn’t matter. The chances are good that he wouldn’t have access to a firearm that had been locked up as the proposed ordinance would require.

Had the proposal been law, the homeowner would have died, and the bad guy would have likely escaped.


The problem is safe storage laws fail to account for an individual’s needs or situation. It doesn’t consider that this was an adult who lived with nothing but other adults who could be trusted with access to a firearm if required. It doesn’t account for a mature child who understands the dangerous nature of a firearm used improperly. It accounts for nothing except for the whim of politicians looking to score political points.

That’s never a good idea when you’re talking about how best to defend your home.

Of course, it’s not like politicians who push for things like this give a rat’s hindquarter about you or your family’s safety. They’re out to score political points with the uninformed by pretending that we, the law-abiding gun owners, are responsible for guns used in crime. Here’s a thought, how about blaming the criminals who are stealing guns in the first place?

A novel concept, I know, but let’s try that for a change and see where that takes us.

Join the conversation as a VIP Member