If San Francisco Supervisor David Campos has his way, private citizens as well as this California Highway Patrol officer could face jail time and hefty fines for the crime of leaving an unsecured gun in their vehicle.
In a press release sent Wednesday, Campos points to San Francisco's "epidemic of stolen guns" as the impetus behind his proposed ordinance, which will "require that all people storing a gun in a vehicle secure the weapon with lockboxes affixed to the vehicle or in fully enclosed locked trunks with automatic release levers disabled."
When Campos initially proposed this legislation, it was directed solely at law enforcement officers: Like the Bureau of Land Management officer whose gun was stolen from their vehicle and later used to kill Kate Steinle or the CHP officer whose (personal, not service) gun was stolen when he left it in a backpack in the front seat of his car parked at 8th and Howard Streets.
Today, Campos says he's going to expand the proposed law to cover everyone, not just cops, during this afternoon's Board of Supervisors Public Safety Committee meeting.
An alteration in the law would make it apply to folks like the person who stored a loaded Smith & Wesson inside a locked case in a bag, then parked his unlocked truck near Fisherman's Wharf. Just a few days after it was stolen, that gun was used to kill Marin hiker Steve Carter and Canadian backpacker Audrey Carey.
“This is one of those things where it seems like a no-brainer,” Campos told the Chron.
“We’ve seen a number of incidents where firearms are ending up in the wrong hands because people aren’t storing them properly when they leave them in their vehicles. That’s a real problem.”
Those violating the law could face misdemeanor charges, six months in jail or a $10,000 fine, which has Campos prepared for opposition to the legislation from the National Rifle Association.
“If we’ve learned anything about the gun lobby in this country, it’s how extreme it is,” Campos sais to the Chron.
“Even something that’s modest and common sense is likely to be opposed.”