Florida's Fried intiates safe gun storage campaign

Florida's Fried intiates safe gun storage campaign
(AP Photo/John Raoux)

Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried isn’t a fan of the right to keep and bear arms. She’s made that clear pretty much since she took office, which was an issue since her office is the one that was responsible for issuing carry permits in the Sunshine State.

However, she’s also made a pro-gun move in trying to change the rules about marijuana and guns in states where it’s legal.

So when I saw she was pushing for safe gun storage, I was curious about what she was trying to do. After all, she’s running for governor and not doing particularly well despite being the highest elected Democrat in the state. She likely needed to make a splash and mandatory storage might just do that.

Only, that’s not what she’s trying

In a backdrop of recent mass shootings in New York and Texas as well as Florida’s Parkland massacre in 2018, Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried is promoting an information campaign to better inform concealed carry license holders how to safely store their guns to try to reduce gun violence.

“We believe an increasing education about these simple safety measures will help save lives,” Fried said during the virtual press conference.

She noted that firearms are the leading cause of death for American children and teens, according to BeSMARTforKids.org. The group Be SMART participated in the press conference.

Fried is a gunowner herself, she said.

“I understand how to be responsible and to make sure that we are being responsible in how we carry a firearm. And I know how important it is to take simple steps to help keep myself and the people around me safe,” Fried said during the press conference. “We will be mailing this information out to everyone in the state who receives a concealed weapons permit and will be available to all of our licensees and all of our licensing and tax collectors offices.”

The information campaign will promote safe gun storage and behavior, such as making sure ammunition is stored separately from the gun, modeling responsible behavior around guns and requesting that the homes that children visit also responsibly secure their guns.

Let’s be absolutely clear here: I oppose mandatory storage in all its forms. I have little issue with the government advising people on best practices to keep guns out of unwanted hands.

Weapon storage is important. Every gun owner needs to use some kind of locking mechanism on their weapons when they’re not in use. I just have a different definition of “in use” than most places that pass mandatory storage laws.

But what Fried is doing isn’t any of that. Instead, it’s downright reasonable.

Now, I’m not saying that Fried should be governor of the state. I’m not saying anything about her gubernatorial campaign at all.

What I will say is that this is a perfectly reasonable effort on the part of the Florida ag commissioner, all things considered. It doesn’t interfere with people getting permits or buying guns. It doesn’t interfere with people owning them, either.

I think most gun owners already know how to safely store their firearms, mind you, but some clearly don’t or have forgotten. Maybe some don’t think it’s that big of a deal.

Either way, this isn’t unreasonable for Fried to do and far more reasonable than what a lot of her fellow Democrats have tried throughout the nation.