Santa Clara County Board Approves Mandatory Storage Law

There are a lot of anti-gun measures getting a lot of support in a lot of different places. One that gets traction quite often is so-called “safe storage” laws. In theory, they make a lot of sense. They make it illegal to leave your gun lying around. Now, this is something gun owners routinely call irresponsible anyway, so even pro-gun folks should support such measures, right?

Not really.

At the end of the day, these laws don’t take individual circumstances into account. They don’t take someone’s personal needs into consideration or how they feel it is best to defend their home from attack.

And yet, they keep getting passed. The latest is Santa Clara County in California.

The Board of Supervisors unanimously approved an ordinance requiring the safe storage of firearms within residences on unincorporated county land. The new law requires firearms either be lawfully carried by residents, in their close proximity and control, or disabled with a trigger lock or in a locked container when left unattended. The storage requirements do not apply when firearms are carried outside of residences.

But regulating guns isn’t so simple – especially in the unincorporated parts of the county. That’s why Supervisor Dave Cortese worked to strike a balance with the law and take into consideration the needs of the rural communities.

County officials did not replicate laws already in effect in cities like Sunnyvale and San Francisco. Instead, they worked to tweak the language to consider both of the county’s diverse urban and rural populations, such as making an exception for facilities that could be deemed “residences” during hunting trips or target practice.

Officials have been working on the county law since August, and will be collecting more feedback before it goes into effect early next year.

“I think that’s good, because there’s some nuanced issues within the issue,” Cortese told San José Spotlight. “For the next 100 days, we want people to give authentic input into how can we make this into something to be proud of for everybody, useful for everybody and not result in unintended outcomes.”

First, I’m done calling these “safe storage” laws. They’re not about safety. They’re mandatory storage laws.

How safe are these storage laws if they delay me from getting to a firearm in the case of a home invasion? If my family is brutally murdered because of a law that made it difficult to access my weapons in a time of need, how is that law “safe?”

It’s not.

Yes, it’s all fine and good that the Board of Supervisors is trying to balance the rural needs and all that jazz, but even people in cities need to defend themselves. More than that, they have a right to defend themselves. Requiring that they lock up their weapons because they live across a certain line isn’t going to make matters better.

All that will happen is those who are truly irresponsible will continue to be so, and those who may need a gun at hand won’t have it because people who know nothing about their situation decided to require everyone to lock their guns up all the time.