SF supes back bill requiring locked guns in cars

San Francisco supervisors Tuesday unanimously passed legislation that would require anyone who leaves a gun in a car in San Francisco to store it securely in a locked trunk or lockbox.

Introduced by Supervisor David Campos in September, the legislation initially targeted off-duty police officers but was later expanded to include anyone in the city of San Francisco.

The legislation was inspired by a shooting in July that killed Pleasanton native and San Francisco resident Kate Steinle. Steinle was shot near Pier 14 with a gun that was later confirmed to have been stolen from an off-duty federal agent who left it in a parked car.

Guns were also stolen in August from the vehicle of a Hayward police officer in Oakland, and from the vehicle of the chief of the University of California at Berkeley’s police department while she was jogging.

After the legislation was introduced, two fatal shootings committed in October during robberies in San Francisco and Marin County by a trio of drifters were linked to a gun stolen from a vehicle in San Francisco just days earlier.

Police are already required to secure their weapons while on duty, and Campos today said the legislation does not apply in cases where law enforcement departments already have similar or stricter rules in place.

“We are sending a very clear message that if you come into the city of San Francisco and you have a weapon that you choose to leave in your vehicle, there are things you have to do to ensure the safety of your weapon,” Campos said Tuesday.

The city of Oakland passed a similar law last month, as well as legislation banning high-capacity magazines. A similar bill introduced in the state Senate in January by Sen. Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, would require anyone, including law enforcement officers, to securely stow any handguns they leave in vehicles either in a locked trunk or in a locked container out of plain sight.