San Francisco tried to do away with guns entirely, but was forced to back off of that one because of a little thing called the Second Amendment. It’s now trying a new tactic, which is to say that you can have guns, you just can’t have them in a way that would render them useful in an emergency. To make matters worse, even the people supporting these rules admit that they’ll only hamper legal gun owners, while leaving the illegal gun owners with a significant advantage:
San Francisco residents will be required to keep their guns in lock boxes or have trigger locks on their firearms under a law signed Wednesday by Mayor Gavin Newsom.
The law also makes it illegal to possess or sell firearms on city and county property and requires firearm dealers to submit an inventory to the police chief every six months.
The measure’s co-sponsors concede that it will have little effect on the proliferation of illegal firearms. The prohibition of guns on county property does not apply to Housing Authority sites, and the ban on selling guns on county property does not apply to the annual gun show at the Cow Palace. The firearm inventory list applies to the one gun store and five licensed firearm dealers in the city.
Officials did not say how they plan to enforce the lock box and trigger lock requirements, but District Attorney Kamala Harris said that once people are aware of the new law, “they’re going to follow it.”
Did you catch the last paragraph about enforcement? There are only two ways to enforce it: The first is house to house searches of gun owners, which sounds mighty unconstitutional to me. The second is to go after gun owners after they’ve used their guns. If the gun owners used their guns illegally in the first place, it will simply layer on another charge to the indictment. However, what you can easily foresee is a situation in which a legal gun owner legally defends himself against a robber, only to be prosecuted afterwards for having his gun readily available.
In any event, I suspect that the law is redundant. Gun owners who worry about having their guns misused while on their own property will already store them in lock boxes (as hunter friends of mine do) or have trigger locks (the favored approach, I suspect, of people who worry both about gun safety and protection against break-ins). Legal gun owners who don’t worry about these matters, for whatever reason, will convince themselves that they can ignore the law. And the criminals, of course, will continue to pack their weapons and use them with abandon.