Article and photos
by Dave Workman | Senior Editor
When The Trace, a publication that received funding from anti-gun billionaire Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety, said gun thefts from cars have soared in some cities, the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) pointed the finger of blame at the creation of so-called “gun-free zones” as partly responsible.
“Whether it’s a school, city hall or other municipal building, city park, baseball or football stadium, post office or a private business such as a restaurant, shopping mall, theater or big box store that has been encouraged to prohibit firearms on the premises,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb, “the result is the same. Honest citizens are being forced to leave their legal firearms locked in cars, trucks or SUVs and thieves have figured this out.”
The subhead of The Trace story claimed that, “As thefts of guns from cars surge, police urge residents to leave their weapons home.”
However, that is not exactly what the story says. Several law enforcement professionals are quoted explaining that cars are not gun safes, and that firearms should not be stored in vehicles.
When citizens, who are licensed to carry, or legally carry in states with “constitutional carry” statutes, are faced with shopping at a mall or store where firearms are prohibited, or doing business in a public building that bans guns, what are they supposed to do? Far too many people try to hide their guns in glove compartments that may, or may not, be lockable. Others simply try to hide their legal guns under a car seat.
Former Seattle Police Chief Gil Kerlikowske, who subsequently served in the Obama administration, lost a personally-owned Glock 9mm pistol from his department-owned vehicle several years ago. He left the gun in his car while doing some post-Christmas shopping with his wife. That gun has never been recovered.
A growing number of enterprising people have purchased small gun safes for their vehicles. A lockable safe in the console or trunk might discourage a gun thief, but many gun owners wonder why they should be forced to take that chance. It would be far better to have their firearm with them, under their control, rather than leave it locked in a vehicle.
“American gun owners are being systematically discriminated against for simply exercising their constitutionally-protected right to bear arms,” Gottlieb said. “Ultimately, honest citizens are being victimized by such restrictions because not only are they vulnerable to criminal attack because of these unilateral disarmament laws, they stand an increasing chance of having their property stolen. The bottom line is that whether you own a gun or not, these laws make us all less safe.”
In Seattle, for example, former Mayor Mike McGinn, a liberal anti-gunner, launched an effort with Washington Ceasefire that encouraged businesses in the city to post their premises off-limits to firearms. The publicly-owned football and baseball stadiums in the city, along with a convention center attached to one of the facilities, are also off-limits due to a requirement in the contracts with private groups that operate the stadiums.
Thieves know this, as they do in other cities around the country where people are prohibited from carrying their legally-licensed sidearms into buildings or facilities.
Gottlieb said in a prepared statement that “nobody wants to talk about this.” The reason for that, he intimated, is because it would be tantamount to acknowledging that the anti-gun policies of public officials and private business owners might be directly responsible, or at least strongly related, to the increase in gun thefts. Anti-gunners are literally making it possible for criminals to get their hands on guns illegally.
The Trace listed ten cities where gun thefts from parked vehicles have risen dramatically. They are Tampa, Seattle, Colorado Springs, St. Petersburg, Wichita, Charlotte, Atlanta, Lubbock, Austin and Jacksonville, in that order.
“In some states where discretionary laws allow bureaucrats to deny carry licenses or permits to honest citizens,” Gottlieb suggested, “people who want to travel with firearms are doubly penalized because they must also leave those guns in cars, where they could fall into the wrong hands.”
Instead of showing the public how foolish it is to carry firearms while traveling, Gottlieb contended the story “unintentionally underscores the necessity for serious gun law reform that includes abolition of gun-free zones and adoption of constitution-friendly shall-issue carry laws in all 50 states.”
“This nonsense of forcing people to disarm needs to stop,” he said, “and it’s an easy fix.”