On October 17, 2017, the San Jose City Council passed another anti-gun measure with a 6 to 5 vote. The measure states that all firearms must be locked up or disabled with a trigger lock when no one is present in the house.
On the surface, this may seem like a good thing as nobody wants their firearms stolen and no one wants a child in your household to get hold of your firearm and hurt or kill someone. As far as child access goes, there is already California State legislation that says households with children must have firearms locked up when no adult is present.
As they say, the devil is in the details, so let’s look for him!
My heart truly goes out to those who testified about losing loved ones to gun violence before the San Jose City Council. Louis and Karen Pandula of Sunnyvale lost a daughter who was murdered by her boyfriend’s former roommate.
About 30 years ago Reverend John Rodgers was with his partner in Reno when they were shot. He testified that “My partner died in my arms that night”. The killer was never caught or identified. (Reverend Rodgers is with the First Century Evangelistic Group.)
The recent evil massacre in Las Vegas was even mentioned at the council meeting as a reason to pass this ordinance!
Requiring trigger locks, a lockbox, a safe or even a disassembled firearm would not have stopped any of these murders.
Any Safe Is Not Safe
No, I’m not talking about a professional safe-cracker getting into your safe, or even whether a safe will keep you safe. The make and model of your safe (and lock box and trigger lock) really matter.
Many people go to your local big box store and get the big heavy safes for their gun storage. This is good, but unless you know what you are getting, you might not be safe. This also goes for those fingerprint or ergonomic pushbutton lockboxes available on line or at your local locksmith or market AND trigger locks.
Safes and Lockboxes
This is close to seeing what firearms you can buy in California without the NICS check (for now). Whatever you choose, it has to be on the California Department of Justice’s Roster of Firearm Safety Devices Certified for Sale!
Like I mentioned earlier about the devil being in the details, the Safe Storage of Firearms in a Residence ordinance defines a locked container:
“Locked Container” means a locked container as defined in California Penal Code Section 16850, as amended from time to time, and is listed [emphasis is mine] on the California Department of Justice Bureau of Firearms roster of approved firearm safety devices.
Be really careful in buying a trigger lock even of it is on the DOJ’s list. Your CA DOJ-approved device also has to be approved for use on your particular firearm.
The ordinance defines a trigger lock:
“Trigger Lock” means a trigger lock that is listed on the California Department of Justice’s roster of approved firearms safety devices, and that is identified as appropriate for that firearm by reference to either the manufacturer and model of the firearm or to the physical characteristics of the firearm that match those listed on the roster for use with the device under California Penal Code Section 23635, as may be amended from time to time.
That “as may be amended from time to time” wording can probably be a trouble-maker.
Get a Professional Opinion Before Buying
Before you buy a “locked container” or a trigger lock, I highly recommend going to your local 2nd Amendment Attorney and paying him to tell you whether the storage safe, lockbox or trigger lock is approved by the CA DOJ. It will be one of the best investments you can make!
NOTE: I’m not an attorney, but I can recommend a great 2A attorney if you contact me directly.