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Another Attempt to Criminalize Gun Ownership

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Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) recently signed into law two bills that could easily make criminals out of law-abiding gun owners. On a national level, such bills also set the stage for politicians mandating that gun owners buy and use various security devices, like gun safes, and might even require that they open their homes to “gun-safety inspectors.”

One Colorado bill, now law, mandated the “safe” storage of firearms, while the other required gun owners to report lost or stolen firearms. As is frequently the case, both bills were falsely sold as legislation that would improve public safety.

The Colorado storage bill imposed “government-mandated standards for storing firearms, rendering a person’s firearm useless when needed for self-defense. This should be a matter of personal responsibility, as everyone’s situation is different,” says to the NRA Institute for Legislative Action (ILA).

The second bill signed into law requires gun owners to report lost or stolen firearms to law enforcement or face a $25 fine for a first violation. That fine can go up to $500 for future violations.

As NRA-ILA also reported, the other new law concerning lost or stolen firearms “victimizes gun owners who suffer loss or theft of their property with a fine if they don’t report a lost or stolen firearm within five days of discovering it missing. A firearm owner should not be held liable for the crimes committed by a person who has illegally obtained their firearm.  Individuals should not be further victimized after experiencing a burglary or other crime.”

With Gov. Polis’ signature, both bills will officially become state law in July 2021.

Gun prohibitionists are attempting to use the gun-storage-mandate approach in a number of states to diminish Second Amendment rights.

In Oregon, S.B. 554 is currently being considered. This bill would, among other things, mandate a “one-size-fits-all” firearms storage requirement within people’s homes and vehicles, with substantial penalties for violating the bill’s requirements.

Meanwhile, the Maine Legislature is contemplating L.D. 759, another gun-storage-mandate bill which, according to NRA-ILA, “is unnecessary, overly broad and impairs the ability of law-abiding Mainers to access firearms in their homes to defend themselves and their families. … The measure unnecessarily amends the statute governing reckless endangerment of a child, when current law already regulates access to firearms by minors, and the corresponding responsibilities of adults.”

Similar bills have appeared in legislatures in Illinois, Kentucky, Montana, New Mexico, and Virginia.

Such storage-mandate bills, NRA-ILA noted, invariably “impair the ability of law-abiding (citizens) to access their firearms when they need them the most. The central component of the right to use firearms in defense of one’s home and loved ones, is actually being able to use them immediately in a self-defense situation.”

If that ability is curtailed or effectively stopped, our Second Amendment rights are, to a large extent, gone. Which explains why anti-gun groups, like Moms Demand Action and Everytown, support such laws.

Article by Brian McCombie

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