Del Mar becomes third North County city to adopt safe storage law

NeverAgainCA members watched the Del Mar City Council approve a safe storage law for local gun owners.

Del Mar became the third North County city to adopt a safe storage law for local gun owners, following the City Council’s unanimous vote Oct. 7.

The law requires firearms to be secured in a locked container or with a trigger lock unless they’re in the immediate control of an authorized user. The cities of Solana Beach and Encinitas have also adopted safe storage laws over the last month. Earlier this summer, San Diego became the first city in the county to approve a safe storage law, which went into effect almost one month ago.

“The city of Del Mar has long understood the need for protecting its citizens against gun violence,” said Rose Ann Sharp, founder of local advocacy group NeverAgainCA, via email. “This ordinance is one more step in recognizing the right of gun ownership and the gun owner’s obligation to protect residents including the most vulnerable from gun violence.”

There were no public speakers on the ordinance. Opponents of safe storage laws have said they unnecessarily restrain gun owners’ rights to defend themselves in their homes. But proponents say they hope the new regulations will cut down on suicides, accidental gun shots and other consequences resulting from guns not properly secured.

The text of the proposed law states that “secured firearms impede the opportunity for impulsive suicide attempts, giving suicidal individuals time to contact family, friends, and health-care professionals.” It also mentions that safe storage regulations are consistent with safety rules by the National Rifle Association, which has long opposed any type of gun control regulations, to secure firearms when they’re not in use.

Del Mar Mayor Dave Druker thanked Sharp and other representatives from NeverAgainCA in attendance Monday night, “for continuing to work and prod the city to ensure that we are abiding by good practices for guns.” The group is also supporting AB 893 by Assemblyman Todd Gloria, D-San Diego, a proposed state law that would prevent gun and ammo sales at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. Gov. Gavin Newsom has until Oct. 13 to sign it into law.

Del Mar’s safe storage ordinance is pending a second vote at the council’s Oct. 21 meeting. If approved, it will take effect 30 days later.