An FN 509 Midsize propped up on a spare magazine / Photo by Chris O'Neil

Mountain View, California has passed a mandatory “Safe Storage” law that will force gun owners to lock up their firearms in a safe when they are out and about.

The Mountain View City Council voted unanimously to approve an ordinance that dictates exactly how gun owners are to store their firearms when they leave them unattended in their homes or in their vehicles.

As reported in the Mountain View Voice: 

Under the new ordinance all firearms in residences must be stored in a locked container or disabled with a trigger lock unless they are being carried or in the close proximity and control of someone.

In unattended vehicles, firearms must be stored in a locked trunk or container. For vehicles with four wheels and no trunk, guns must be in a locked container affixed to the vehicle and out of view. For vehicles with fewer than four wheels and no trunk, it has to be kept in a locked container that is permanently affixed to the vehicle. Firearms cannot be stored overnight in an unattended vehicle.

Violations of the ordinance will be considered misdemeanors once the law takes effect.

When it comes to enforcement, police officers in Mountain View won’t proactively check to see if people are in compliance with the ordinance, but they will have discretion to cite or arrest someone found in violation, whether arising from contact with that person for another lawful reason, if someone reports a violation, or if an incident occurs.

It should go without saying that you should never leave your firearm unattended in a vehicle or in your home, especially if you are prone to leaving doors unlocked or have children in the home. Most gun owners already do these things without there being a law in place to make them, most gun owners in Mountain View probably did these things prior to this ordinance being put into effect.

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