10:08 AM, Jul 15, 2019 Updated: 5:20 PM, Jul 16, 2019
By: Mimi Elkalla , Jermaine Ong, Jonathan Horn
SAN DIEGO (KGTV) – The San Diego City Council voted Monday in favor of a proposed ordinance that would require city gun owners to keep their firearms in a special locked box.
In a proposal announced by City Attorney Mara Elliott in June , owners would have to store their guns in a Department of Justice-approved lockbox or with a trigger lock, unless the owner or authorized user is carrying the firearm or it is in their immediate control.
Those who violate the ordinance could face up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.
Many supporters said the idea behind the ordinance is to make it more difficult for children and unauthorized users to access firearms. City Attorney Mara Elliott, who proposed the law, said about 7,000 children are hurt by guns each year, with most of those firearms coming from inside the home. She said many state laws address safety issues after a tragedy happens, and that her proposal aims to pre-empt those situations.
However, opponents believe the proposal violates Second Amendment rights, is just duplicating other laws and that education is the better approach. They also say the few seconds it could take to unlock a gun when defending themselves could be the critical difference.
The council voted 6-2 in favor of the proposal, with Republicans Chris Cate and Scott Sherman dissenting. The ordinance will come back to the council for a second reading before going into effect.
San Diego County Gun Owners PAC also reported on this event
San Diego City Council Passes Overreaching Regulation
It is unfortunate, but this afternoon, the City of San Diego did pass a very overreaching firearms storage law that will affect all residents of the City of San Diego. The vote was 6 to 2 in favor of passing the proposal into law.
San Diego County Gun Owners PAC met with council members, attended committee meetings, rallied residents of the City of San Diego to make statements, showed up at the City Council meeting, brought it to the attention of media, and did all we could to stop the law from passing. Unfortunately, the current makeup of the San Diego City Council was too much to overcome.
But it’s not all bad news. Through activism and hard work, City Attorney’s office changed the penalty to potentially be an infraction rather than a misdemeanor. This is an important move. A misdemeanor involving firearms is potentially devastating to gun owners that could result in incarceration, the loss of rights, or the end of a career. An “infraction” is not as serious (think speeding ticket or jaywalking). Although we are proud that we were able to make an important change, this is still a horrible overreach and we completely disagree with its passing.
The law now requires all residents of the City of San Diego to store their firearms locked, inside a safe, or otherwise inoperable inside their house unless they are touching the firearm or “in control”. It is very vague and left a lot undefined. Once it is fully written and approved, we will send out the details.
Although we lost this one, SDCGO is proud to have brought this unconstitutional law to the attention of the Second Amendment community and worked hard to engage with the city council members.
Thank you to all the SDCGO members for attending! There were so many great statements by so many great gun owners. Let this not discourage, but rather let it strengthen your resolve. While other flee and complain; you continue to work hard. We are just around the corner from another election and SDCGO is going to need your help getting the right people elected so this kind of thing never happens again.
Thank you all for your support and help.
Together, We Will Win!
-SDCGO Board and Staff
“Can you imagine if it had been a robbery, kidnapping, violent intruder into my home, intending on committing rape or murder? Or hurt my kid?” -Veronica
“When I have seconds to protect myself, the police are only minutes away.” -Hannah
“If the city council truly cares about safety, don’t pass yet another law that punishes the average San Diego. Instead, talk to actual gun safety and security experts.” -Mike
” Theft from someone’s home represents only 6% and that 6% includes people whose gun was locked up when it was stolen. So we know that this regulation will not have any impact when it comes to stopping criminals from obtaining firearms.” -Shawn
“It may prevent homeowners from defending themselves and their wife and their children.” -City Councilmember Scott Sherman
“I know how important it is to have firearms accessible when the situations arise. I support current laws already in place. Every individual’s situation is different.” -City Councilmember Chris Cate
This type of ordinance is only there to make people feel good. They feel that a law can be the answer to the problems associated with firearms. The reality is that this is just another infringement on those vital rights to keep and bear arms. Households with children, or those with mental disabilities, should seek the education necessary to store their firearms in a safe yet secure manner. This is not an issue with which the government need mandate our actions. And the punishments and penalties associated with this law do not deter criminals, yet this law potentially criminalizes legal gun owners for the exercise of their rights.