White House 'Safe Storage' Talk an Absolute Waste

AP Photo/Matt Rourke

When we’re talking about laws that mandate storage of firearms, I refuse to call them “safe storage” laws. They’re mandatory storage laws because they don’t balance an individual’s need with the requirements of the law. They just say you will lock them up no matter what.

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Yet some people keep calling them safe storage laws.

So, I got nervous when I saw that the White House was talking “safe storage.”

Luckily, they’re not talking legislation–not yet, anyway–so there is some good news. The bad news, however? Nothing being discussed is remotely useful.

The Biden Administration on Thursday announced new gun safety executive actions focusing on promoting safer gun storage in what it calls an effort to reduce gun violence.

“While safe gun storage is an important factor in curtailing death and injuries among children, the Biden-Harris Administration, through the American Rescue Plan, the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, and other grant programs, has also provided unprecedented funding to establish safe, healthy, and supportive learning opportunities and environments; to increase access to school-based mental health services; and to strengthen the pipeline of mental health professionals in high-need communities,” the administration said in a statement.

In order to combat this issue, the Biden Administration has announced three new actions to promote safe storage: The Department of Education will pen letters to school principals encouraging them to share the importance of safe firearm storage with parents and guardians, as well as issue a communication template for how principals can discuss preventative action and safe gun storage with family members. Lastly, the Department of Justice will create a comprehensive guide to safer firearm storage.

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Now, I don’t disagree that educating people on how to safely store their firearms is a good thing. In fact, I’m willing to bet that, in general terms, it’s something that I and someone like Shannon Watts or David Hogg agree on.

But these actions are, frankly, a waste of time and money.

First, let’s take sending letters to principals and they act on them.

Congratulations, you’ve sent one more thing home with a student that will be skimmed and then discarded. Some will read it and think, “Yeah, I need to do that.” Others will figure the principal doesn’t need to concern themselves with what happens in that home.

And frankly, if a principal starts telling people in one-to-one encounters how to secure their guns, there’s going to be fireworks.

Lastly, the DOJ is going to create a “comprehensive guide” for safe storage? I’m pretty sure that either the NRA or NSSF already has such a guide, if not both. While I get that they’re advocacy groups, they also are the groups that gun owners are far more likely to listen to than the Department of Justice.

Especially this DOJ.

As it stands, I fully expect these guidelines to include not just storing guns and ammo separately, but that the ammo should be locked in a completely different safe…stored at your cousins house on the other side of the country.

Again, a waste.

Now, I understand that these actions are things Biden can do with a stroke of his pen. I may not agree with them, but since this isn’t regulation, I’m not losing sleep over it, either, even if it is a waste of taxpayer money.

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Yet Biden has never been shy about calling for legislation, so I don’t mind calling this out as a case of not being serious about so-called safe storage.

After all, why not recommend tax credits for gun safes?

That’s something that’s passed with bipartisan support in other places–and a rare case of the activists on both sides of the gun debate actually supporting a measure. Moreover, we know Democrats like Biden support the Earned Income Tax Credit for parents, so they’re not hostile to such credits.

So why not suggest that? It’s a bipartisan position that could actually help put more safes in people’s homes. People with safes are more likely to use them, too.

Bide and the White House can talk safe storage all they want, but it seems clear they’re not taking it seriously.

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