San Diego's New Law for Gun Dealers Contracting With City as Dumb as it Seems

AP Photo/Philip Kamrass, File

The city of San Diego started off their roll of stupid by mandating that everyone who has a gun in their home has to have some kind of insurance. That won't actually accomplish anything since the only thing covered by homeowners or renters insurance is accidents, but they felt better passing the law, and feelings are all that matter.


But the stupid wasn't finished.

As bad as that was, it seems the city leaders have hit on a new brand of stupid to inflict upon the city. This one targets gun dealers who may want a city contract.

The San Diego City Council Tuesday unanimously passed the Ira Sharp Firearm Dealer Accountability Act, which requires gun dealers bidding on city contracts to follow all state and federal firearm laws to curb the proliferation of "crime guns."

Councilwoman Marni von Wilpert, who authored the legislation, said it would leverage the city's purchasing power to ensure good actors.

"We need clear protocols to ensure that our city does not conduct business with firearm dealers that have histories of unlawful transfers, including sales to straw purchasers, failures to perform background checks, or have failed to follow essential documentation procedures," von Wilpert said. "By using the purchasing power of the city, the ordinance before us will compel the firearms industry and its dealers to take accountability for their business practices and help keep crime guns off the street."

For the record, all gun dealers need to follow state and federal gun laws. The idea that a city needs to pass a law that mandates those seeking contracts with them have done so seems kind of asinine, doesn't it?

Then again, this is San Diego.

And, in fairness, this goes a little bit further than that.

Specifically, the act requires vendors to:

  • Complete all federal and state inspections without violations
  • Implement security measures to prevent the theft or loss of firearms
  • Not have been cited for selling to prohibited persons including gun traffickers and straw purchasers

Let's take these one by one, shall we?

Complete all federal and state inspections without violations

Let's understand that many "violations" are paperwork errors where someone transposed some numbers or something. San Diego wants to act like these are egregious violations that create "crime guns" when that's not remotely true.

Further, we live in an era when simple paperwork errors can result in revocation of FFLs. I doubt that San Diego's purchasing power is somehow more motivating than their ability to remain in business.

Not have been cited for selling to prohibited persons including gun traffickers and straw purchasers

Yes, I'm skipping one for now.

Anyway, if someone was cited for selling to prohibited persons, gun traffickers, or straw purchasers, they're guilty of a crime. If so, the individual guilty should have been prosecuted for it and, if guilty, sentenced to an appropriate amount of time in prison.

Why should the business, which may well have been unaware that a trusted employee was untrustworthy, be blamed for the actions of that individual?

It should be noted that these two points would be revealed when companies bidding would provide records showing their inspection reports.

Now, onto the third point.

Implement security measures to prevent the theft or loss of firearms

It seems California requires gun stores to meet certain storage requirements, which isn't surprising since they do it to the average gun owner as well.


So either this part does absolutely nothing or the state law does nothing. It's one or the other, and neither is a good look.

Then again, none of this is a good look, really.

It would be hilarious if the gun stores in San Diego decide that they're just not going to deal with the hassle and simply refuse to do business with the city. I would love to see San Diego suddenly have a problem obtaining firearms because absolutely no one is interested in selling them any.

After all, it's not like the city is interested in maintaining a positive relationship with these gun stores, so why would a single contract be sufficient to deal with the headache of selling guns to a city that ultimately wants to shut you down?

I sincerely hope the answer to this measure is the sound of crickets the next time they solicit bids.

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