Guns stored in homes in unincorporated San Mateo County must be kept in a locked container or disabled with a trigger lock as part of new safety requirements adopted by the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday.
The new ordinance, passed 5-0 by the board, also states that lost or stolen firearms must be reported by their owners to law enforcement within five days of their knowing that the firearms are missing. Failing to do so could lead to prosecution for violating the locked container provision.
The consequences for failing to safely store firearms in homes is up to six months in County Jail and a fine of up to $1,000.
Supervisors Dave Pine and David Canepa introduced the ordinance as a way to prevent tragedies.
“Many instances of gun violence occur in the home,” Pine said in a statement. “To help prevent accidental shootings, gun-related homicides and suicides, and the theft of unsecured firearms, the County of San Mateo is seeking commonsense requirements for secure storage of firearms in the home, requirements which are not explicitly required for all gun owners under California state law.”
If the ordinance passes a second reading on Feb. 26, it will take effect 30 days later.
In 2013, Sunnyvale voters approved similar safe storage regulations that also included a ban on ammunition magazines that hold more than 10 rounds. Its regulations survived a court challenge by the National Rifle Association.