San Diego’s 2019 Safe Storage of Firearms Law is unnecessary.

On Monday, 15 July, 2019 San Diego City Council voted 2-1 (Bry-yea, Moreno-yea, Cate-nay) to send to a full vote the proposal for a new municipal firearms storage ordinance.
A link to the Proposed Law:

https://onbase.sandiego.gov/OnBaseAgendaOnline/Documents/ViewDocument/Safe%20Storage%20Ordinance%20(O-2019-150)%20Digest%20PDF.pdf.pdf?meetingId=1528&documentType=Agenda&itemId=37174&publishId=200489&isSection=false

This law is redundant! There is already a California State law from 2014 that can hold gun-owners accountable for allowing a person under the age of 18 to acquire a firearm in 3 different ways!

  • (a) Criminal storage of a firearm in the first degree is punishable by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 for 16 months, or two or three years, by a fine not exceeding ten thousand dollars ($10,000), or by both that imprisonment and fine; or by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year, by a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both that imprisonment and fine.
  • (b) Criminal storage of a firearm in the second degree is punishable by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year, by a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both that imprisonment and fine.
  • (c) Criminal storage of a firearm in the third degree is punishable as a misdemeanor. <6 months in County Jail and/or up to a $1000 fine.>

(Amended by Stats. 2013, Ch. 730, Sec. 2. (AB 231) Effective January 1, 2014.)
https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displayText.xhtml?lawCode=PEN&division=4.&title=4.&part=6.&chapter=2.&article=

The proposed municipal law would actually provide less severe consequences for unsafe firearms storage:

  • A misdemeanor conviction can be punished by a fine of up to one thousand dollars ($1000) or imprisonment in the County Jail for up to six (6) months or by both fine and imprisonment.
  • Any person convicted of an infraction shall be punishable by fine only as follows: Upon a first conviction, by a fine of up to two hundred fifty dollars ($250) and for any subsequent infraction a fine up to five hundred dollars ($500).

The only differences between the current state law and the proposed municipal law are the amount of fines and jail time a person can be punished with.

A later 6-2 vote (Yea: Bry, Campbell, Ward, Montgomery, Moreno, Gomez; Nay: Cate, Sherman; Kersey was not present) sends the proposed law to a final vote for adoption into law.

-Trevor Mardis
July 2019

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