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CA city bans guns in private homes unless locked up, disabled

A handgun and a gun safe. (Tech. Sgt. Thomas Dow/U.S. Air Force)
December 07, 2020

Gun owners in Dublin, Calif., are banned from keeping firearms in private homes unless they are kept in a locked container or disabled with a trigger lock after the City Council unanimously approved the new regulation last week.

Pleasanton Weekly reported that the ordinance goes farther than existing California laws that apply if children live in a household or if a member of a household is prohibited from having guns. It goes into effect next month.

“What we’re doing in this case is just expanding that definition beyond those two scenarios — children in the home or criminal record — and applying it to all households,” said City Manager Linda Smith.

The ordinance will be added to the Dublin Municipal Code, stating, “No person shall keep a firearm within any residence unless the firearm is stored in a locked container or disabled with a trigger lock.”

Exceptions to the ordinance include when a gun is being lawfully carried or when it is in the control of a law enforcement officer.

According to councilmember Shawn Kumagai, the regulation “will state clearly to our community that we embrace a culture of gun safety” and “safe gun storage helps to prevent unintentional and intentional injury and death of minors, helps prevent gun suicide, and deters gun theft.”

Twenty-two cities across California have implemented similar regulations, including Oakland, Berkeley, Moraga and Sunnyvale.

“It’s not about taking gun rights away from people at all whatsoever, it’s about educating, it’s about making sure that we do our part, and have an awareness out there,” said Councilmember and mayor-elect Melissa Hernandez.

Hernandez said she believed in “not only just saying it but actually doing something,” adding that the city may provide trigger locks for residents, in addition to potentially granting funding for public gun safety awareness.

Prior to voting for the new regulation, Councilmember Arun Goel said gun safety was an issue he held “near and dear to my heart.”

Goel said his son committed suicide, adding that education is needed but “part of what I’ve always been about is, when we take an action of such a nature, it should be for the fundamentally correct things, not just for stipulation of trying to do something perfunctory or lip service.”

“Systematically I agree with it, and so I’m kind of in a little bit of a confusion standpoint,” Goel said. “We can agree on safety but in the reality, how much of these are issues from lawful gun owners vs. unlawful gun owners.”