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Lock ‘em Up
Rose Ann Sharp | Crest Road and
Jennifer Lonbom | Stratford Park Circle

The City of San Diego did it; Solana Beach did it; Encinitas is doing it; and Del Mar may follow suit on October 7, when City Council considers a safe storage ordinance which closes loopholes in the state law regarding locked storage of firearms and ammunition.

When an 8-year-old Scripps Ranch boy found a loaded gun in his neighbor’s garage and accidentally killed himself, San Diego City Attorney Mara Elliott, who lives in the same neighborhood and is also a parent, knew she had to act. She prepared the ordinance that was adopted by the City of San Diego and served as the model for the three coastal towns. It makes firearms owners accountable for their weapons by requiring the firearms to be safely stored or locked unless they are in the immediate control of the owner.

NeverAgainCA, Brady Campaign and others are working to bring the ordinance to all communities in San Diego. This ordinance is enforced the way seat belt laws are: If the police stop a car and the driver is not wearing a seat belt, they can issue a ticket; if law enforcement is called into a home and sees a firearm or ammunition not secured or not in the control of an authorized user of the gun, they can issue a violation.

In San Diego County, three teenage school shooters have terrorized our children and 100% of the guns they used came from home. Between them, they killed and injured 30 people and traumatized hundreds of others for the rest of their lives. None of the parents were held accountable for not storing the guns safely; none were charged with any crime and all will live with mental pain and regret forever.

It is estimated that 4.6 million children in the United States live in a home with unsecured firearms. Recently a Del Mar resident learned that her neighbor had three guns in her home unsecured. 73% of children ages 9 and under reported knowing the location of their parent’s firearms, and 36% of those children admitted that they had handled the firearms, including children whose parents had reported their children did not know the location of their firearms. Multiple studies have shown that children cannot be trusted to leave a gun alone, even after taking a gun safety course and signing a pledge. Firearm-related deaths in the United States are the second leading cause of injury-related deaths in children between the ages of 1 and 17, after car crashes.

San Diego County’s suicide rate among those aged 18 years or younger is higher than the California state rate. Suicide attempts often are impulsive acts, many occurring within five minutes of the decision to attempt suicide. Firearms were used in just 9% of youth suicides in Massachusetts, which has effective safe storage laws, compared to 39% of youth suicides nationally. Access to firearms is the most important factor in youth suicide and homicide. Approximately 90% of those youths who die by suicide use a gun found in their own homes. Denver Public Health Department.

Voice your support for Safe Storage of Firearms and Ammunition in Del Mar with a red dot letter or show up in an orange shirt on Oct 7.



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