Clayton Cramer details how the Canadian authorities are currently charging an Ontario man who used a licensed pistol in self-defense. The way this works in most countries where self-defense with a firearm is still technically legal, is to charge the defender with violating the safe storage laws.
Fortunately for us here in the Untied States, Heller should put the kibosh on the worst excesses of our opponents, who have, in other countries, successfully outlawed self-defense with a firearm through strategic use of safe storage initiatives. If you used the gun for self-defense, then you couldn’t have been storing it safely, now could you?
8 thoughts on “Safe Storage as a Proxy for Making Self-Defense With a Gun Illegal”
MA is ground zero in this battle. But here the storage violations are charged regularly in non self-defense circumstances making it very risky to not have your guns locked up completely at all times. Even when they are locked up, people get charged and convicted.
One of the ironies of the “success” of our anti-rights friends is that they passed a relatively sane safe storage provision in California law. Should they get any traction, we should point to CA’s safe storage laws as “reasonable gun laws” as it doesn’t get in the way of legitimate self defense at all. It’s also going to cause policy trouble for places like San Francisco since the courts can look at the State’s law and ask why that’s not enough.
In reference to the point HSR47 makes below, the “relatively sane safe storage provision in California law” already has victims we can name, I’m thinking specifically about a teenager who defended her siblings at the cost of here own life against a totally random home invasion by a crazy with a pitchfork as I recall (a little Google fu will turn up plenty of links about this case, including a very heartfelt one by her grandmother).
I’m not aware of any of these laws I’d view as being sane, they’re just there to harass gun owners and to create “martyrs for the anti-gun nanny state cause.” (To quote terraformer’s reply.)
CT also has a relatively decent safe storage statute in that it only applies when kids are in the home and has penalties only when kids get access to the firearms.
What if children are home alone when someone breaks in and THEY need to defend themselves?
There are multiple examples online of children of those who own firearms, and therefore who KNOW how to use them, either being left at the mercy of thugs or the deranged because they are locked up, or successfully defending themselves because they aren’t.
MA’s response would be to A) Don’t leave them home alone until they are 15 and can get their own FID card or B) Tough crap, they are now martyrs for the anti-gun nanny state cause.
Indeed. Massad Ayoob has collected an amazing list of self-defense cases by minors that would have turned out badly one way or another (e.g. prosecution after the fact) if “Lock Up Your Safety” laws were in effect.
The most amazing one was by a toddler (2? 3? very young) who followed his mother’s “Don’t touch it!” command … until she was being viciously raped in their home. Upon which he grabbed the gun, something like a Raven .25 ACP, put it against the side of the head of the bad man who was attacking his mom and put paid to the assault and attacker.
Obviously most of the cases are for much older children/teen that would have been counted as (young) adults in older saner times, but … well, once again, this gets down to questions that I the reductionist put as “Who owns your children, you or the state?” Since all? Lock Up Your Safety laws claim to in part be “for the children”, it’s clear where they come down in the above question.
Side note: last time I checked, less than 200 “children” per year were killed by gun “accidents”; the true death toll is of course a lot less, since many of these accidents are nothing of the sort. My home town of Joplin had one about a year ago, idiot “friend” of a ~ 14 or so year old teenager with other friends were visiting her home, idiot picks up a revolver the homeowner hadn’t put back into the safe while trying out a new holster, points it at her “friend’s” head, pulls the trigger, and, wow, it’s an accident. And that’s how it was reported for the official statistics.\
Here in West Oz, we have safe storage laws, but in all my reading of the law I cannot find mention of it applying when the home-owner (or tenant) is in the home.
When the fire-arms licensee is not at home the safe storage laws definitely apply, yet there is no requirement that I can find for firearms to be “safely stored” when the licensee IS at home.
My solution (if necessary) will be to argue in court that a loaded gun in a holster on my belt IS “safely stored”.
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