Governor Signs Bill Requiring Officers to Lock Away Guns Left in Vehicles

September 27, 2016 8:00 am · 20 comments

Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill today that will require California law enforcement officers to lock away their handguns when left in an unattended vehicle, state officials announced.

Senate Bill 869 was introduced by Senator Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo and Santa Clara counties) back in January.

The bill will update an already existing state law, which requires civilians who leave their handguns in their car to store them securely in a lockbox attached to the vehicle or the vehicle’s trunk, and out of plain view. Law enforcement officers had previously been exempt from the requirement, Hill’s office said.

A violation of the requirement will be met with a fine of up to $1,000, Hill’s office said.

The bill however would exempt peace officers carrying out official duties during circumstances that require immediate aid or action. Handguns being shipped legally though a carrier such as FedEx or UPS will also be exempt, according to Hill’s office.

“Senate Bill 869 closes a loophole so law enforcement officers-just like every other gun owner-must safely and securely store their handguns when leaving them in a car,” Hill said in a statement. “This is a matter of basic public safety and common sense.”

A number of recent incidents involving handguns stolen from law enforcement vehicles and then used to commit crimes have occurred in the Bay Area.

San Francisco resident Kate Steinle, 32, was fatally shot in July 2015 when a homeless man shot a gun near Pier 14. The gun was later confirmed to have been stolen from an off-duty federal agent who left it in a parked car.

In August 2015, guns were also stolen from the vehicle of a Hayward police officer in Oakland, as well as from the vehicle of the University of California at Berkeley’s police chief while she was jogging.

Then in September 2015, Emeryville resident Antonio Ramos, 27, was fatally shot as he was working on a mural in Oakland. The gun used in the shooting had been stolen from a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent in an auto burglary in San Francisco earlier that month.

Additionally, two fatal shootings in October committed during robberies in San Francisco and Marin County by a trio of drifters were linked to a gun stolen from a vehicle in San Francisco just days earlier.

Also, in February, a U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agent reported losing his pistol in San Francisco.

Both San Francisco and Oakland have put similar laws into effect earlier this year, requiring firearms to be locked in a lockbox or trunk of a vehicle.

Hill said while the passing of SB 869 is a victory for gun safety, he plans on working on legislation that would help law enforcement agencies keep track of guns that are lost or stolen.

“Building on SB 869, I plan on introducing legislation next year to tighten up these practices so that every enforcement agency is required to have a process in place to account for all the weapons they own or use,” Hill said.

SB 869 will take effect on Jan. 1, 2017, according to Hill’s office.

rich September 27, 2016 at 8:10 AM

It’s a amazing that a law is needed for what should be part of the training for everyone that has a legal gun not just law enforcement.

Rob September 27, 2016 at 8:13 AM

Amazing that you have to enforce common sense with Police…
Yes, if you are leaving a handgun in your car, lock it up.

TIFOKCIS September 27, 2016 at 8:26 AM

This insures more police packing their piece everywhere they go.



Amazing you’re 17 years old and have not outgrown your cop hate.

Rob September 27, 2016 at 8:48 AM

#3 – LOL – seriously that’s your comment.

My comment was spot on – apparently the government has to enforce common sense since cops apparently are leaving guns in the open in their cars…

Try again and please, this time, at least give your response the old “Community College” Try – we’ll work on getting you to the Old College Try later on 🙂

Mike September 27, 2016 at 9:00 AM

So wait…..

In a state that prides itself on having the tougheststrictest laws relating to firearm safety/gun control, this isn’t already on the books?

I wonder, do the career politicians in Sacto have to abide by the same laws us pee-ons do? (sarcasm).

@2&3 September 27, 2016 at 9:01 AM

You were meant for each other.

Captain Bebops September 27, 2016 at 9:20 AM

Unfortunately society is beginning to drown itself in laws. Soon you won’t be able to get out of bed in the morning without breaking a law (some might say that’s already the case). How about one more new law: for every new law two old ones must be retired. Yes this should be a matter of common sense and grounds for dismissal if abused.

@nonp September 27, 2016 at 9:59 AM

plan on introducing legislation next year to tighten up these practices so that every enforcement agency is required to have a process in place to account for all the weapons they own or use,” Hill said.
They have enough laws covering this, a $1000 fine is out of line.

Coco Rez September 27, 2016 at 10:10 AM

How about not leaving your gun in the car! Even if it’s locked up that only slows down the process of stealing said gun. If your packing heat then don’t leave it in the car. Simple and easy!

Bazooka Joe September 27, 2016 at 10:36 AM

So this law only pertains to California law enforcement officers. Feds and other non California law enforcement officers can still get away with it.

bosome September 27, 2016 at 12:02 PM

Wow someone has to introduce a bill and Gov needs to sign it to make sure cops lock up a gun in their vehicle? I’m just amazed at how stupid people can be not to use common sense and need a signed bill to point it out.

@bosome September 27, 2016 at 1:09 PM

And I’m just amazed at how many people still think the key to reducing crime is increasing punishment for the victims.

rofl September 27, 2016 at 2:17 PM

So what is the name of the law, “The Dumb Cop” law? LOL

J. September 27, 2016 at 3:08 PM

Trunk locks are very easy for these hemorrhoids to punch out with garden variety hand tools.

ManBearPig September 27, 2016 at 4:18 PM

Yay! More laws!

Cellophane September 27, 2016 at 4:28 PM

Yes, but how about locking up more criminals?

Another failed system here in the land of the left.

Atticus Thraxx September 27, 2016 at 5:14 PM

An unattended vehicle is not a secure place to store a firearm.

H September 27, 2016 at 10:11 PM

It’s ridiculous how the vast majority of anti-gun legislation in this state exempts police officers. Please make them subject to magazine limits, the handgun roster, and all the various other death by 1000 cuts the anti-gun coalition has successfully passed in this state, so we might finally get police officers on the right side of gun rights, instead of treating them as a special class above us ordinary citizens.

49 September 27, 2016 at 10:35 PM

This state amazes me! Get your property stolen from the crackhead that should be in jail, but isn’t (due to more stupid ass laws that have been passed in this state) and ohhhh, now you THE VICTIM has to pay a fine on top of already having your vehicle burglarized and firearm stolen. God damn Ca politicians are morons!

Fedup September 28, 2016 at 7:11 PM

Ahhh nothing will happen to anyone on this bill, because America refuses to enforce any gun laws on the books. I hope the illegal alien gang members get this. They can pack around numerous guns and they get nothing, but a slap on the hand, especially in this county!

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