Friday, March 15, 2024

House Judiciary Committee Advances Colorado Bill on Vehicle Gun Safes

The Colorado State House Judiciary Committee has recently advanced a bill, House Bill 1348, aimed at combating gun thefts from vehicles, a growing concern nationwide. This proposed legislation, requiring firearms in motor vehicles to be stored in lock boxes or the vehicle’s trunk, passed with a party-line vote of 7–3. This initiative responds to incidents like the theft of two firearms from a car owned by state Representative-elect Ron Weinberg (R-Loveland) on the Capitol campus in Denver.

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Statistics underscore the gravity of the issue, with Denver District Attorney Beth McCann revealing that over two years, more than 1,000 guns were stolen from vehicles. The bill, facing criticism for possibly deterring individuals from reporting stolen firearms due to a $500 civil penalty, highlights a broader national dilemma.

Various reports across the country illustrate the severity of gun thefts from vehicles, with hundreds to thousands of firearms being stolen annually in cities like ColumbusNashvilleSan AntonioCincinnatiDenverTacomaPhiladelphia, and Seattle. These thefts not only fuel criminal activity but also cast gun owners in a negative light, prompting legislative responses such as Colorado’s HB 1348.

The debate around such measures often circles back to the restrictions imposed by businesses and “sensitive areas” on legally carrying firearms, which inadvertently contribute to the problem by forcing gun owners to leave their firearms in vehicles. Despite the stigma, it’s important to recognize the rights of armed citizens, particularly in states with “Constitutional Carry” laws, which permit the lawful carry of firearms without a permit.

To address the issue of gun safety in vehicles, many gun owners are turning to vehicle gun safes, a solution that Cincinnati Police Chief Teresa Theetge has adopted by installing a gun safe in her vehicle. Manufacturers like Truck VaultConsole Vault, and Hornady offer robust vehicle safes and lockboxes, providing secure options for gun owners to prevent theft while complying with legal carry restrictions and promoting responsible gun ownership.

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