San Francisco Supervisors consider storage law for guns in cars

Anyone in San Francisco storing a gun in a car would be required to keep it under lock and key, according to legislation introduced to the Board of Supervisors Public Safety Committee on Thursday.

Supervisor David Campos is behind the proposal and said it is an amendment to a current ordinance that he introduced in September.

“After hearing report after report of so many weapons stolen from vehicles, we decided to expand the legislation,” Campos said at a media conference on the steps of City Hall.

The proposal would require anyone storing a gun in a vehicle in San Francisco to secure it in a trunk with the automatic release lever disabled or in a lock box attached to the vehicle. 

It is an amendment to a prior ordinance that already requires off-duty police officers to safely secure their weapons if they leave them in a vehicle. The law was introduced after the death of Kate Steinle at Pier 14 in July 2015. She was killed with a gun stolen from the car of an officer from the Bureau of Land Management.

“This needs to happen now,” Paulette Brown said.

Brown, a San Francisco resident, said her son was murdered in 2006. Since his death, she has been an advocate against gun violence and said the city needs stricter gun law to spare another family from pain.

“Let them put these guns in a lock box so that when their car gets broken in so these guns won’t get stolen and our children won’t get murdered,” she said.

According to the SFPD, there have been more than 14,000 car burglaries this year. Statistics were not immediately available on the number of car break-ins where guns had been stolen. Campos said the legislation is common-sense.

The committee has said violation of this proposal could be up to six months in jail or a fine. 

“It is simply our responsibility to do everything in our power to protect San Franciscans from gun violence,” Campos added.