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Federal law allows many adults to own firearms. There are two Oakland laws which require residents and visitors to properly secure their firearms in their home and in their car. Following these laws will help to ensure that fewer legally-possessed firearms end up being used unintentionally to harm children or to be stolen and used in future violent crimes.
Failure to follow these laws can lead to jail sentences of up to six (6) months as well as fines of $1,000 (greater fines for repeated offenses).
Secure guns in your home – Oakland Municipal Code (OMC) 9.39 requires the safe storage of firearms in private residences – “no person, except when carried on his or her person, shall keep a firearm (as defined in California Penal Code Section 16520 or as amended) in any residence unless the firearm is stored in a locked container.” A locked container means a secure container that is fully enclosed and locked by a padlock, key lock, combination lock, or similar locking device as defined by California Penal Code Section 16850. For purposes of this ordinance, this OMC section also includes a lock box that is listed on the California Department of Justice Bureau of Firearms roster of approved firearm safety devices. A bag or other container made of fabric or other penetrable material, such as a regular purse, backpack, or gym bag is NOT an acceptable container per this law.
Secure guns in your car – OMC 9.37 states that, “It is unlawful for a Person to leave a Handgun in an Unattended Vehicle within the City of Oakland in a Public Right of Way or Public Place unless the handgun is stored in accordance with the safe storage provisions of this Chapter;” the law repeats the same language for long guns (rifles, shotguns) and ammunition. A lock box must be locked in the trunk of a vehicle, or inside a vehicle in a place where the lock box cannot be seen from the outside or the lock box must be placed in a container that is permanently attached to the inside of the Vehicle. The key or other disabling device to the Lock Box is not left in the unattended Vehicle.
“From gun locks to safes, there’s a range of effective solutions best suited for both gun and home. Since holidays tend to bring more children into the home, consider storing your ammunition separately from the gun, which can reduce the risk of family fire by up to 61%. Don’t be afraid to remind your loved ones to practice safe storage as well.” – Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence
“As a firearm owner, it is your responsibility to ensure that guns in your home are always stored where they are inaccessible to children or other unauthorized persons. Hiding a gun in a closet, drawer or similar location is not safe storage. Safe storage is employing precautions and multiple safeguards that provide an additional barrier against unauthorized use.” – Project Child Safe