Mandatory Storage Legislation

Mandatory Gun Storage Laws New MexicoProgressive Democrats are not limiting their reign of anti-gun tyranny to the public sphere. They are now trying to invade your privacy and dictate what you do within your own home.

Another one of their dangerous propositions during this year’s legislative session was House Bill 130, sponsored by Representative Linda Trujillo. It prevents gun owners from keeping loaded firearms in locations in their home – like underneath a bed, in a cabinet, or near a door – where they would be easily-accessible in emergency situations. It also requires that guns stored in plain sight be restricted by an additional layer of inoperability, like a trigger lock mechanism.

While firearms used for hunting and sporting should be stored unloaded and locked safely away, this bill does not address the simple fact that not all guns are used for fun and sport. Here we see the reality of gun control in plain sight: disarmed citizens, forced to leave their families vulnerable to predation, danger, and violence.

In the midst of a statewide crime epidemic, countless New Mexicans rely on their weapons for home protection. Requiring people who are trying to protect their lives, liberty, and property to give up their weapons invites violent criminals through their front doors to rob, murder, and rape.

The bill was sold to the public under the guise of child safety. It’s no surprise that all responsible gun owners in New Mexico want to take every step possible to ensure their children are safe, which is exactly why many keep loaded firearms at the ready in the event of a break-in.

There is no “one size fits all” set of requirements that can meet the needs of all New Mexicans who own guns. In a large and diverse state such as ours, every gun owner’s circumstances are different. Someone who lives in an apartment complex in Albuquerque has different storage needs than a rancher in Union County. It should remain the responsibility of individual firearm owners – not the government – to determine how to best store their guns safely.

As New Mexicans, teaching our kids about gun safety is a critical component of our way of life. In doing so, we are encouraging them to take part in time-honored traditions – hunting, self-sufficiency, family, community – that are woven into the very fabric of the history and culture of our great state.

Irresponsible people are unlikely to follow a law that merely restates their intrinsic responsibilities to store their guns safely. Therefore, mandatory storage legislation like House Bill 130 is yet another feel-good measure that will do little or nothing to prevent crime or accidents. They may actually make it more dangerous because people will not be able to store their self-defense weapons in the most effective manner for their unique situation.

These types of laws do, however, invite abuses of our civil liberties. The only way such a law can be enforced is by searching the homes of gun owners, which violates our Fourth Amendment right to be free of unreasonable searches and seizures. Such searches would also divert vital law enforcement from patrolling the streets, fighting crime, and tracking down criminals – making us all less safe.

Mandatory storage legislation lays bare the other dangerous reality of gun control: in order for the government to limit our Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms they must infringe on our other natural rights.

You can help to stop this invasion of our privacy and to keep our freedom to do what is best for our own families by joining our movement, spreading the word, and supporting our work financially.

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