Palm Springs adopts mandatory gun theft reporting and storage laws

The Palm Springs City Council on Wednesday approved a measure that will mandate gun lock usage, the reporting of lost or stolen firearms and ban leaving guns in unattended vehicles.

The ordinance was proposed in the 45,000 population desert resort in California’s Coachella Valley by Councilmember Geoff Kors, who backed a petition that drew 213 signatures in support of the move. It passed the council in a 3-2 vote despite repeated protests by area gun owners.

“It’s mostly to prevent accidental shootings and to prevent lost or stolen guns being used in a crime. Those are things we can do within the restrictions of the Second Amendment and that can make a difference,” said Kors, as reported by KMIR.

The four-page ordinance requires any gun lost or stolen to be reported to police within 48 hours after the loss is known. Next, firearms in residences — including motels and rentals — would have to be secured with a trigger lock or otherwise in a locked container when not in immediate possession of the owner. Finally, concealed weapons licensees in the city could not leave a “concealable firearm” in an unattended vehicle unless it was in a locked container or trunk. Violations of any of the new laws would result in a $1,000 fine.

As originally proposed, the ordinance held a provision to ban the possession of grandfathered firearm magazines capable of holding 10 or more rounds of ammunition, but this was deleted.

Kors, an attorney who formerly worked as legislative staff for the City and County of San Francisco, told the Desert Sun that Palm Springs’ new law is less restrictive than the one adopted in 2014 by San Francisco that has so far withstood legal challenge.

Councilmember Ginny Foat, who voted against the proposal, said it is unenforceable.

Meanwhile, adoption of the ordinance sets the stage for likely legal action by the nation’s largest gun rights group.

In July, National Rifle Association attorney Matthew Cubeiro wrote the city, warning the council the proposed law, “raises serious constitutional concerns under the Second Amendment, Fifth Amendment, and Equal Protection Clause of the United States Constitution, and will expose the city to costly and time consuming litigation, all while failing to promote public safety.”

The Palm Springs ordinance goes into effect in 30 days.

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