The state of Georgia is one of many with preemption laws on the books. Over the years, though, the city of Atlanta has done what it could to ignore that, though. In response, they’ve lost a number of lawsuits challenging its rules.
So, it’s safe to say city leaders aren’t necessarily supportive of the right to keep and bear arms.
However, they also have apparently come to accept that they can’t pass gun control laws. So that leaves them scratching their heads about what they can do, and they came up with an idea.
Atlanta City Council met Tuesday, where they approved legislation aimed at preventing guns from being stolen.
The proposed program would offer Atlanta residents free lockboxes for their guns, so they can be stored securely.
The legislation allows the council to request that the mayor’s Office of Violence Reduction and the Atlanta Police Department develop a program to provide free firearm safety storage, also known as lockboxes, to those who qualify.
City Councilman Antonio Lewis proposed the lockbox legislation to help stop accidental shootings and reduce the theft of unsecured firearms.
Now, I’m not a huge fan of any government spending money for, well, anything. However, I’ve got to admit that there are worse ways to use taxpayer money.
We all know that gun owners should keep their guns secure. We also know that many don’t.
There are likely a number of reasons for that, but part of it may well be that after people spend hundreds of dollars on a gun, often used, they don’t necessarily have a good way to secure it. Sure, you can get gun locks, but those require the gun to be stored in a manner that makes them useless for home defense, which is why many people get a gun in the first place.
Atlanta providing lockboxes addresses this.
This is good since most guns used in crime are stolen in the first place. By providing a free way people can secure their guns, this opens up the potential to reduce the number of guns available. It won’t stop people from getting guns, but it may drive up the price for them.
Yet we also need to be realistic here. Any impact from this program is, at best, going to be a result of how many people opt to take advantage of it.
For example, if a lot of people get lockboxes, then we may see so-called gun crime in Atlanta drop. On the flip side, if they don’t, then it won’t.
But the downside for the city is a lot of excess lockboxes that no one asks for compared to an immeasurable upside.
I don’t like seeing taxpayer dollars spent frivolously, but this is far better than funding yet another “gun buyback” that ends up netting 60-year-old handguns that may not even function and a couple of single-shot shotguns.
Will this really do anything? I have no idea.
Yet I’m going to give the city of Atlanta the benefit of the doubt on this one. At worst, assuming people take advantage of the program, people can protect their property better.