Illinois carries over mandatory storage bill from last year

Dave Martin

I think people should lock their guns up when they’re not in use. For most folks, that just makes the most sense and is the safest option out there. When I say that, some think I’m in favor of mandatory storage laws, but they’re quite wrong.

For one thing, I think such laws fail to take individual needs into account. For another, there’s that whole “shall not be infringed” thing.

In Illinois, a mandatory storage bill failed to get passed last year. Surprising, to be sure, since Illinois loves its gun control, but it’s true.

Unfortunately, that didn’t mean it was dead.

From gun safes to defining “assault rifles,” proposed gun control bills carried over from last year could be back before the Illinois General Assembly.

One of the bills, Senate Bill 1855, would require gun owners to lock up their guns to prevent minors and people who are ineligible to have guns of their own from obtaining them. If the guns wind up causing injury or death, the gun owners would face a $500 fine and a criminal penalty.

Gun rights advocate Rhona Ezell, president and co-founder of Chicago Guns Matter, said the bill would take away her right to self-defense.

“The bad guy isn’t going to give you a chance to get your keys for the lockbox so that you can get your gun out to defend yourself,” Ezell told The Center Square.

She’s right.

Look, the people who push for mandatory storage laws are only thinking one-dimensionally. They’re only thinking about the gun ending up in the wrong hands.

Now, I get that, for many, that’s the big issue and that’s what they’re trying to address.

However, everything is always more complicated than that. These laws don’t necessarily even stop gun thefts. It doesn’t necessarily even stop kids from gaining access to a firearm–though the ones it will stop are the ones you didn’t need to worry about in the first place.

But what it will do is keep good, law-abiding folks from accessing their gun quickly enough in the event of an emergency.

A home invasion doesn’t necessarily give the homeowner time to prepare. The criminals don’t exactly call to make an appointment to swing by and terrorize your family while stealing your stuff. It happens suddenly and violently.

And people die during home invasions. There’s a reason people need firearms in this day and age.

Requiring those firearms to remain locked up at all times basically erases their right to defend themselves.

Bad as Illinois is, their proposed mandatory storage law is a far cry better than the bill proposed in New Jersey. That one does more than put a single barrier between me and my gun when I need it. New Jersey’s requires multiple barriers.

While not quite as bad as New Jersey’s, the Illinois bill is bad enough.

In their mind, all that matters is keeping guns out of the wrong hands.

Now, that’s not a bad thing to desire. We all desire the exact same thing. The problem is that they act as if “the wrong hands” include yours at the moment when you need your gun the most.