By Steve Pomper
Recently, Tacoma police warned the public that during one recent month they recorded about 10 reports of criminals stealing guns after breaking into cars. So, how do lawmakers want to address it? Not by holding criminals responsible for their actions. Instead, they want to use the crimes to infringe on law-abiding Americans’ gun rights.
A bit over-the-top, yes. But dumb gun laws are forcing many people to leave guns in cars.
KING 5 News reported, “There’s a state law [WA] that says if a gun is not secured properly and used in a crime, the owner could also face criminal charges for community endangerment.” What is it about the left always wanting to blame law-abiding people for the wrongdoing of criminals?
Tacoma patrol car
According to The Seattle Times, in 2018, Summer of Love Mayor Jenny Durkan joined other lawmakers in proposing “legislation to require gun owners to lock up firearms left in their homes and vehicles.” And, “as a response to a widespread gun-violence crisis… in Seattle,” they also wanted to “increase penalties for those who fail to report lost or stolen guns….”
Seattle Police Dept. East Pct. Under Mayor Jenny “Summer of Love” Durkan
But where are the anti-gun/self-defense rights folks on enforcing existing gun laws against criminals or increasing penalties for using a gun in a crime? They’re absent or doing the opposite. In Oregon, in a case the NPA has filed an important amicus brief in support. Please read the article that the NPA wrote, which in part reads:
The new law, Ballot Measure 114, requires a permit from local police (which may be impossible to get) just to apply for permission from the State Police simply to buy a firearm. It also outlaws the most common firearms ammunition magazines. These are the magazines that come standard with most modern firearms. The measure limits magazines to 10 rounds. Police officers, who are defending themselves from the same criminals as civilians, carry more, showing why prohibiting civilians from using magazines with more than 10 rounds is unconscionable as well as a violation of the Oregon (and U.S.) constitution [bold added].
NPA also “notes that many Sheriff’s departments across the Nation (including in Oregon) have announced that they will refuse to enforce the recent wave of weapons restrictions passed in defiance of the U.S. Supreme Court.”
That is glorious! (What? Too much?)
Back to securing firearms, with such people, what constitutes “secured properly?” If a gun owner secures a gun in a locked vehicle, isn’t that properly secured? But if a criminal defeats the vehicle’s security, how is that ultimately the owners’ fault? What if a burglar steals your pistol safe from your house and then breaks into it and accesses the gun? Isn’t that properly secured?
Or are they heading toward any stolen gun being gun prima facia evidence it was “not properly secured?”
Interior of handgun safe
Many jurisdictions also encourage people to leave their guns in their cars by attempting to ban them from carrying guns into or onto an increasing array of public and private properties. So, either they risk their safety by leaving their weapons at home, or they risk someone stealing their gun by locking them in their cars. In reality, the gun and owner, and the community, is much safer with the firearm in their possession, and it doesn’t pose any danger to the premises.
As an active cop, I repeatedly asked anti-gun advocates to explain two things: How a law-abiding gun owner carrying a concealed firearm in a school is a threat. And how do “gun-free zone” signs prevent criminals, who are threats to the school, from entering the school with a gun? Not a single person ever answered the questions. Not when it’s easier to spout political pablum.
Politicians and bureaucrats continue to create laws and “rules” that place gun owners in impossible positions. Supposedly, Americans have a God-given right to keep and bear arms (to self-defense) that the government cannot infringe). But you can’t have this arm, that magazine, this accessory, or in that place. How is this not circumventing the Second Amendment?
As reported in the New York Post, New York Governor Kathy Hochul infamously sought to create vast public spaces where gun owners would be prohibited from carrying guns concealed. So, if a person is responsible and wants to protect him or herself, which happens with greater frequency these days in NYC, what’s the practical answer other than lock it in your car? At least, you’ll have it some of the times in some of the places you go.
Hochul’s exclusion locations included: government buildings, medical facilities, daycares; parks, zoos, playgrounds; subways, busses, and schools. So, where can concealed carry permit holders possess their guns? For those places, she also encouraged private businesses to ban concealed carry on their properties.
It takes a lot of nerve for politicians to criticize law-abiding gun owners for locking their guns in their cars who then have them stolen. These restrictions amount to a de facto nullification of the Second Amendment. If Americans don’t enjoy the full intended benefits of any constitutional right, then they don’t truly enjoy that right.
It’s unconscionable the government should ever force Americans into such a choice.
A huge problem is a federal criminal justice system, and state and local in blue jurisdictions, that have created a two-tiered injustice system. With deliberately lax enforcement, “bail reform,” and “police reform” laws, criminal suspects who somehow manage to get arrested are released almost immediately—even for stealing a gun from a car.
Where are the calls for enforcing these laws or increasing the penalties? Things what would actually work.
Instead, corrupt laws force law-abiding Americans to lock guns in cars because there are so few places they’re allowed to carry. Then if a criminal breaks in and steals the gun and commits a crime with it, they want to blame and punish the gun owner rather than the criminal.
Similarly, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, recently said the city’s street vendors should not carry cash because it causes crime. Apparently, robbery victims are now responsible for the crimes committed against them.
This anti-constitutional corruption also makes it difficult for cops to do their jobs, when politicians want them to let criminals go free while charging normally law-abiding people their warped laws are turning into criminals.
Officers ask why the system released an auto prowl suspect they arrested who later commits an armed robbery. And then has to ask why they want to prosecute the victim the criminal stole the gun from during that car prowl because he later committed a robbery with it—for which they let him go because… bail reform.
This article originally appeared at the National Police Association.