Not content with California’s gun-control laws, which are among the strictest in the nation, Los Angeles is continuing to demonstrate its liberal bona fides by pursuing even more restrictions.
In late November, the City Council unanimously gave tentative approval to an ordinance, authored by Councilman Paul Krekorian, that would require gun owners to apply trigger locks or securely lock away guns even within their homes. The city attorney is currently drafting the ordinance, and a final vote is expected early this year.
Such a law clearly violates gun owners’ Second Amendment and self-defense rights. The Supreme Court addressed this issue in 2008, when it struck down Washington, D.C.’s, handgun ban and trigger-lock mandate in its District of Columbia v. Heller decision. The requirement that guns be rendered inoperable with a gun lock “makes it impossible for citizens to use them for the core lawful purpose of self-defense and is hence unconstitutional,” the court ruled.
The gun-lock measure is intended to reduce gun-related injuries, including to children who might play with or take their parents’ unsecured guns to school. But, according to the National Safety Council, firearms account for only 0.6 percent of unintentional fatalities in the home. Two and a half times as many deaths are caused by drowning, but we would not ban swimming pools or require bathtubs to be equipped with locked lids.
Perhaps the best argument against gun-control laws in general, and gun-lock laws specifically, comes from a criminal. Salvatore “Sammy the Bull” Gravano, a former underboss of the Gambino crime family, has admitted to killing 19 people and famously helped take down boss John Gotti and 35 other mob associates during the early 1990s by becoming an FBI witness.
“Gun control?” Gravano said in a 1999 Vanity Fair interview. “It’s the best thing you can do for crooks and gangsters. I want you to have nothing. If I’m a bad guy, I’m always gonna have a gun. Safety locks? You pull the trigger with a lock on, and I’ll pull the trigger. We’ll see who wins.”
When an intruder bursts into your home and seconds count, fumbling with a government-mandated lock in the dark could literally mean the difference between life and death.
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