Wisconsin Lawmaker Proposes Mandatory Car Storage Bill

Wisconsin Lawmaker Proposes Mandatory Car Storage Bill
(AP Photo/Philip Kamrass, File)

I really don’t like the term “safe storage laws.” I prefer to call them mandatory storage laws. Why? Because I don’t think they necessarily make people safer.

Yes, I often harp on people needing to secure their firearms, the truth is that some people need to do things differently. They may have a compelling reason why their guns need to be readily accessible. I don’t know and I don’t presume to know, which is why I could never advocate for a law mandating such a thing.

Plus, mandates in general make my skin crawl.

Anyway, mandatory storage laws are a problem. But what about with cars? I mean, I spend a lot of time talking about how you shouldn’t leave your gun in your car, right?

Nope. Still a problem because they’re still mandating what someone must do with their firearms in the first place.

That’s not stopping one Wisconsin lawmaker from pushing for one anyway.

Representative Sue Conley of Janesville introduces legislation targeting decreasing firearm thefts. This bill is a part of the Safe Storage for Gun Safety package, led by Rep. Lisa
Subeck (D-Madison).

“I am pleased to release this legislation alongside my colleagues, Rep. Subeck, Rep. Andraca, and Sen. Roys,” Rep. Conley stated. “Firearms are often stolen from vehicles that have been unlocked and unattended. According to the Wisconsin Department of Justice, over 1000 guns were stolen from motor vehicles in 2020,” Rep. Conley said. Stolen firearms are often subsequently used in multiple crimes or sold on the black market. In recent years, there have been several incidents of guns originally stolen in Wisconsin being traced across state lines to Chicago.

First, Wisconsin isn’t responsible for Chicago’s issues. That’s all on Chicago and it always has been.

Second, with a population of 5.8 million people, 1,000 guns isn’t really a massive number for an entire state. In other words, this isn’t nearly that big of an issue.

If Conley were serious about keeping guns out of unlocked cars, what she could push for instead is minimizing the number of gun-free zones in the state in conjunction with constitutional carry. People leave their guns in the car because they can’t carry the firearm inside as a general rule. They generally don’t mean to leave the doors unlocked, but people brainfart from time to time. I suspect most of us have come out of somewhere and tried to unlock the car only to find it had been unlocked the whole time.

What Conley’s proposal actually does, though, is criminalize victimhood.

See, these people are the victims of a crime. Their property was stolen. Yes, they made mistakes that made those thefts easier, but they’re still the victim here. Instead of recognizing that, Conley and her pals want to turn these victims into criminals.

Once upon a time, folks like her would blast attorneys for trying to place the blame for rapes on the victims. The whole “if she hadn’t been there dressed like that, this wouldn’t have happened thing” was a common defense for rape, but it was vile. Folks were right to take issue with it and it finally ended.

It was decided that the victim wasn’t to blame for what someone did to them. That was the right decision and I’m glad we reached that point.

Or did we?

What we’re seeing now is Conley and her colleagues seeking to resurrect this archaic and vile approach by trying to penalize the victims of a crime.

And do you know what the result will be? People will simply not report guns being stolen out of their cars. They’ll pretend it never happened and if it turns up at a crime scene, they’ll claim they sold it to some guy or something and muddy the water to protect themselves. Why wouldn’t they?

If there’s an upside, it’s that I don’t see Wisconsin’s Republican-dominated legislature actually passing a bill like this.