Mandatory storage is an idea that looks good on paper but isn’t in practice. It requires people to lock up their guns when “not in use,” which is kind of an issue. You see, their definition of “in use” and mine are often quite different. A firearm sitting in the nightstand may be in use by someone who is concerned about a home invasion, for example, but the law doesn’t see it that way.
Luckily, these laws aren’t overly common. A handful of places have them, unfortunately, but most don’t.
However, one more joins the unfortunate list.
Years of halting efforts by gun-control advocates paid off Wednesday, as the Oregon Legislature gave final approval to a bill to require gun owners to securely store their weapons when not in use, or face potential consequences.
The “safe-storage” bill — a key policy aim for groups like Moms Demand Action and State of Safety since 2018 — passed the state Senate on a vote of 17-7 after a brief debate. It passed the House of Representatives last week on a similarly fraught vote.
If signed by Democratic Gov. Kate Brown, Oregon will join 11 other states with laws requiring locking devices on stored firearms. Oregon’s bill also opens up gun owners to civil litigation if their unsecured weapon is used to inflict injury.
But the bill does far more, too. Democrats last month combined the safe-storage proposal with a bill that will ban guns in the state Capitol and large airport terminals, and allow public school districts, community colleges and universities to pass their own rules outlawing guns on their grounds.
So yes, there’s mandatory storage for Oregon now, and some additional stupid stuff.
In truth, the banning of guns in the state Capitol isn’t surprising. This was a knee-jerk reaction to armed protests last year and we had to kind of know this was coming. That doesn’t excuse it, mind you, but it’s not exactly a shock that it happened.
No, mandatory storage was the big thing and it’s a thing that is going to have a lot of negative ramifications.
See, I think people need to secure their weapons when they’re not in use. Most responsible gun owners do. Whether it’s a lock on the firearm itself or secured in a safe, most of us don’t disagree with the idea of securing your weapons. The problem is that when the government gets involved, things change. Now, people will be required to lock up their weapons pretty much any other time.
If people are afraid to have their weapons close to hand, those weapons won’t be available when they need them. People may be killed by this kind of thing.
Not that these lawmakers really care.
The kick in the butt? The main reason for many of these laws is because of children who were never taught not to plunder through other people’s things. This is especially true when it’s a non-family member. These are often the kids who get shot and the public becomes outraged, but no one ever seems to look at the parents and blame them for not teaching their children to keep their nose out of other people’s stuff.
So, we get stuck with mandatory storage laws. My condolences to folks in Oregon.