California Governor Signs Bill to Regulate Gun Storage in Vehicles
There's an increase in guns being stolen from unattended cars.
Over the last five years, there has been an increase in guns being stolen from unattended cars. Eyewitness News in Bakersfield, California, reports that there have been 32 firearms stolen from the sheriff’s department in the last nine years, and 11 of them were stolen from a deputy’s car. In these cases, the stolen guns were visible from the window, and were easily taken by simply breaking the window. The main concern of this taking place is that the stolen gun could be used in a murder and the serial number could identify the owner as the perpetrator of the crime when he/she wasn’t involved.
Crime Sparks Action
In fact, that did happen on at least one occasion, when a gun was taken from a law enforcement vehicle and used to murder a 32-year-old woman named Kate Steinle at Pier 14 in San Francisco. The shooter is illegal immigrant Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez who stole the gun from a policeman’s vehicle. Lopez-Sanchez is a convicted felon who has been deported five times. When asked why he shot the victim, Lopez-Sanchez said it was an accident. The shooting did not have to happen, and may not have if Lopez-Sanchez didn’t stumble upon the gun in plain sight inside of a policeman’s vehicle.
To decrease the incidents of gun theft, the Governor of California, Jerry Brown, signed Senate Bill 869 on Monday, September 26. This bill states guns should be locked in a trunk or locked container out of sight while in an unattended vehicle. For those who do not abide by this new law, a fine of up to $1,000 may be given to the violator.
While there have been many firearms stolen from law enforcement, it’s also a problem for citizens of the state. Anyone carrying in any state can have their gun stolen from their car if they fail to take proper precautions to secure their weapon. With the new bill, it’s hoped that every gun owner will be more vigilant about where he/she is leaving a gun, especially when unattended.
Take Action on Guns Left in Vehicles
Citizens who see a gun inside of a vehicle are urged to contact law enforcement immediately. The threat of theft and crime committed with the gun is high, and sometimes, it takes the good nature of citizens to ensure everyone remains safe. If you own a gun and often leave it in your vehicle, place it in your trunk, in a locked glove box, or container hidden under a seat. This ensures no one passing by will feel the urge to break into your vehicle and steal the gun.