Must Lock Empty Vehicles When Guns are Inside: Georgia New Rule

Coastal The largest city in Georgia will now require that guns left in empty vehicles be securely stored. This new rule is aimed at reducing the number of gun thefts from unlocked cars, according to Savannah Mayor Van Johnson.

“We are not attempting to confiscate anyone’s firearms – that is a constitutional right protected by the Second Amendment,” Johnson, a Democrat, explained to reporters. “However, we believe that along with having the right, there is also a responsibility to protect and preserve this right.” I will continue to bring my gun with me. However, I will also secure my gun by locking it up.

The new law that was approved on Thursday will now make it mandatory for individuals to report any instances of gun theft to the police within 24 hours. City officials will start enforcing the rules after a 90-day campaign to educate people about them. During the public comment, no one opposed the ordinance. However, members of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America expressed their support for it.

The decision is part of a strategy by supporters of gun control to prioritize the secure storage of firearms. Earlier this year, they tried to pass a law in Georgia’s legislative session to provide a $300 state income tax credit for purchasing gun locks, gun safes, and safety classes. However, their efforts were not successful. The emphasis on safety is due in part to the fact that Georgia’s state government is controlled by Republicans and recent U.S. Supreme Court rulings have made many gun control measures legally uncertain.

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Minnie Gilbert, who lost her grandson to gun violence in 2020 and her daughter to gun violence in 2023, believes that Savannah’s new law will make it harder for people to obtain illegal weapons. The law has a maximum punishment of a $1,000 fine and 30 days in jail.

“According to this rule, make sure to secure your weapons or else you will be held accountable,” Gilbert said. “This will help more people become more aware and mindful of what is happening.”

Last year, the Savannah police reported that 244 guns were stolen from vehicles in the city, which has a population of 148,000. Out of all the thefts, 203 of them happened because the cars were unlocked. So far this year, 56 out of 69 thefts have occurred in cars that were left unlocked.

According to the law, if you leave a gun in your car, you must store it safely in a glove compartment, console, locked trunk, or behind the last upright seat if your car doesn’t have a trunk. It is necessary for people to lock unoccupied vehicles when there is a gun inside.

“According to Johnson, the person who proposed the law on April 2, gun thieves are aware that guns are often stored under car seats and in center consoles, which is not an effective way to hide them.” “That is definitely not making it secure.” When you leave your car, you bring it along. This is meant to protect you, not the car. The car is unable to protect itself.

One of the supporters was Savannah Alderwoman Linda Wilder-Bryan. She decided to get into politics after her son was shot and killed in 2015.

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