How mandatory storage laws can kill people

How mandatory storage laws can kill people
Dave Martin

I’m not a fan of mandatory storage laws for many reasons. After all, such laws basically tell you what you are required to do with your firearms inside your own home with no regard for your own situation.

I’ve long said that these laws would get people killed.

However, I haven’t seen actual examples of that, mostly because it’s not like the government is going to keep track of how their laws kill people. Yet, now and then, something slips, like this news story:

Officials said the suspect was in the area burglarizing vehicles, when he made his way into a nearby backyard and inside a detached structure.

Inside that structure, the suspect found a gun safe and multiple firearms were taken, the sheriff’s office said. It’s not clear if the gun safe had been locked or broken into.

At the same time, the homeowner was alerted to the break-in through his security system. As the homeowner went to confront the suspect, he was shot at at least twice in the upper body, authorities said.

This was in Sacramento, California. The homeowner died at the hospital hours later. The suspect is still at large.

Now, this story is a little light on details, details which the media wasn’t likely to get, even if they knew what to ask about.

However, we know is this is someone who had enough firearms to warrant a full gun safe. Most people who only have one or two firearms will have a small lock-box style safe for securing their weapons. Yes, it’s less than ideal, but these are generally non-gun people.

Folks who have a greater number of guns or are gun people, in general, are the ones who get full-on safes.

That suggests the homeowner was, to put it bluntly, one of us.

And yet, the bad guy got his guns, and he had nothing. Why? Again, I have to look at the available information and extrapolate from that, but California has a mandatory storage law. The homeowner probably didn’t figure he could risk not having his guns secured.

Which, of course, meant that they weren’t available when he needed them.

But the bad guy apparently broke into the safe – I’m pretty sure if the safe had been unlocked, that would have been obvious and been mentioned right off the bat – and got the gun, then killed the homeowner with it.


Of course, a lot of this is supposition on my part, and I freely admit it. Yet, it illustrates many of the issues I’ve previously discussed regarding mandatory storage laws. The fact that California has one simply adds more of a data point.

Look, I get the thinking behind these laws. People being careless with their firearms by leaving them around so the wrong hands can get hold of them is a problem. However, laws don’t take anything else into account. They don’t adjust to account for the difficulty in getting a safe into your bedroom or whether you’re in a position to need a gun more readily than most people.

Laws don’t care. They’re mandates by people who don’t know you and, generally, don’t even really care about you. So if you get murdered because you can’t get your firearm, they’re not going to lose a moment’s sleep over you.

As such, mandatory storage laws shouldn’t be enacted anywhere by anyone. We have a right to defend ourselves from aggression, but we can’t do that if the law makes it impossible to access a firearm when we need one, and that’s precisely what happens with these laws.

Mandatory storage laws will cost more lives, but those who support them will pat themselves on the back for passing the law anyway.