Reports from Saratoga Community Meeting for the Proposed Firearm Storage Ordinance

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Some of the members from Golden State Second Amendment Council attended the Saratoga community meeting on Firearm Storage on Tuesday, May 29, 2018. As expected, the anti-gun people were well prepared well in advance of the public announcement and came with reams of documentation from what appeared to be from the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.

We only had three days’ notice, but these two members took the time to attend. Here are their reports.

Y___ reported:

I attended the meeting tonight.  I’m not sure if it would help you to have a “scouting report”.

– The two laws being proposed are 1) requiring locked storage unless in immediate possession/control, and reducing lost/stolen firearms reporting from 5 to 2 days.

– There was the usual mantra about “do it for the kids”, despite the fact that I pointed out that the state already has criminal storage laws regarding preventing child access.  “Common sense” got thrown around a lot too.

– I’m pretty sure the city council members are being coached by someone from the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.  There was a woman there who had a notebook full of stats and stuff and the center was mentioned.  Usual stuff about Australia not having any mass shootings since their gun control and reduction in gun suicides in countries with fewer guns.  Also that these kinds of storage and reporting laws are being adopted in many California municipalities, I think she mentioned Oakland, San Jose, Sunnyvale, etc.

– There were also a couple of Sheriff’s representatives present, one a Captain.  They were arguing for the shorter reporting requirement ostensibly to help them with being able to do add-on charges and enhancements in the event they caught someone with a stolen gun.  I asked them couldn’t they still do the add-on charge once the gun was reported on the 5th day rather than the 2nd and they said, “we might have released him by then and we’d have to find him again”.

– The Sheriff’s Captain was also asked, what does “immediate possession/control” mean, and he replied “that depends on the totality of circumstances” and someone in the audience said “that sounds unconstitutionally vague”.

– There were some people that wondered why we needed these laws at all, others wondered if it would actually do anything or how these were relevant to the school shootings, others were all about less guns is better.  As expected.

– Questions/comments from the meeting are supposed to be posted and be used as input into further drafts of the laws and the first reading is to be at the City Council meeting 6/20.

M___had this to say:

It was pathetic.

The essence the proposed law is:

a. It requires safe storage of firearms unless within arm’s reach.

b. It requires reporting of lost or stolen guns within TWO days of learning they are missing or stolen instead of the five days required under state law.

There were questions about why two instead of five and Council had no idea so they asked deputy supervisor Uribe who said it could help catch bad guys quicker and could “enhance” charges against someone in possession of a stolen firearm. Someone asked why we would require two days, what special knowledge or analysis did Council have that the State did not have that said two days would be better than five.

A fellow I know, a sensible guy, asked for a statement as to why the law was being proposed. The Council could not answer the question except to say that they felt they should “do something” about gun violence.

There were several woman who were clearly anti-gun who read statistics allegedly proving that it is five time more dangerous for women to live in a home in which there is a firearm than none. These women distributed themselves to different tables so they could influence those sitting with them at their table. The Delphi technique was used but no “consensus” was proposed. (Council knew better than to do that because several of us would have protested.)

The anti’s quoted some suicide statistics.

One old man said his son committed the crime of suicide using a gun and that if guns were less readily available he would not have. Yeah, right. He’d never use poison or jump from Hoover tower.

Several of us were critical of the proposed law.

One guy asked how close he must be to the firearm to have in under control. The deputy supervisor was there and said arm’s length but that “only the totality of the circumstances at the time of the infraction” would be able to determine if the law were broken. The point was that the citizen could not know if he is breaking the law unless the firearm is kept within arm’s reach. For example, if I am cleaning my gun on the patio and I go inside to the kitchen to make a pastrami sandwich, while keeping the gun in site on private, fenced property, I’ve still broken the law. I might be caught on satellite surveillance.

There were a number of people who were skeptical of the need for this new law so I was encouraged a little by that. However, this is Saratoga and people here are pretty sensible. I imagine how bad it could be in San Jose at such a meeting.

The stupidity of the people there was staggering, overall.

My prediction is that it will pass. The City Manager says this law is like the ones in Sunnyvale, SF, and many other cities in Kalifornia.

We are grateful for members like these two individuals who take protecting our Second Amendment rights!

“Boots on the Ground” are very important!

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