Could a Proposed Shreveport Gun Safety Law Make You a Criminal?
City Councilman John Nickelson talks about his proposal before the Shreveport City Council, legislation that would mandate that guns be safely secured and locked up in unattended vehicles.
Amidst heavy criticism, Nickelson defended the introduction of his legislation in via Facebook on Monday, answering objections point by point:
"The suggestion that this legislation violates the Second Amendment is facile. Numerous jurisdictions have similar laws, and no court opinion I have located holds any of them unconstitutional."
"The state of California enacted a law very similar to the one I have proposed for the council to consider" Nickelson tells KEEL, "It makes intuitive sense to me that if you reduce the number of unsecured weapons in cars, you'll reduce the number of thefts, reducing the number of weapons available in violent crimes."
Nickelson also addresses the Louisiana law saying that local gun ordinances cannot be stricter than any state restriction.
"...La. R.S. 40:1796(A), which a member of the state legislature referenced in a comment below, prohibits any municipal ordinance more restrictive than state law concerning the "sale, purchase, possession, ownership, transfer, transportation, license or registration."
But, explains Nickelson, "My ordinance applies only to weapons in unattended vehicles, which by definition are not in anyone's possession." And he continues, "If the state legislature wants to prohibit Shreveport and other cities from prohibiting unsafe storage of firearms in vehicles, it may be able to do so, but it hasn't yet."
And what about the possibility that someone whose gun was stolen would be hesitant to report the crime because of the fine? "I recognize that if this ordinance were to pass, there would be some people who would choose not to report stolen firearms. That's a cost.," he says, "But on the positive side, the benefit is, that the vast majority of gun owners are not going to leave unsecured weapons in cars and the (result) is we have a substantial decline in the theft of firearms from vehicles."