Last night, the Oakland City Council passed three ordinances relating to firearms, two on safety and one on large capacity magazines.
One of the speakers raised two valid questions, which were not answered or even discussed:
1. It is now a misdemeanor to not properly secure a firearm in an unattended vehicle or in a home. The question put forth is how would this effect reporting a stolen weapon? If the theft was of an unsecured weapon, reporting the theft would subject the owner to prosecution, so the theft would probaly go unreported.
This would make a difference if, in the absence of the ordinance the theft would have been reported. I have no information on the percentage of weapon thefts which are reported. I think that matters.
2. Residents of Piedmont have a peculiar situation – Piedmont is entirely surrounded by Oakland (just as Brookline is completely surrounded by Boston). A Piedmont resident who is in legal posession of a large capacity magazine cannot legally leave Piedmont with it, because the new ordinance prohibits the posession of such a magazine in Oakland, but there is no way to leave Piedmont without traversing Oakland.
Unless the State of California or the County of Alameda ban these magazines, thus making possession in Piedmont subject to legal restriction, it would seem that Piedmont residents are trapped by this ordinance.
I hope that some thought is given to these (unanticipated) consequences and that the situation is resolved without the considerable expense of litigation.
It was pointed out to me by a friend that 18 U.S. Code § 926A – Interstate transportation of firearms takes care of the weapon transportation problem:
“Notwithstanding any other provision of any law or any rule or regulation of a State or any political subdivision thereof, any person who is not otherwise prohibited by this chapter from transporting, shipping, or receiving a firearm shall be entitled to transport a firearm for any lawful purpose from any place where he may lawfully possess and carry such firearm to any other place where he may lawfully possess and carry such firearm if, during such transportation the firearm is unloaded, and neither the firearm nor any ammunition being transported is readily accessible or is directly accessible from the passenger compartment of such transporting vehicle:
in a locked container other than the glove compartment or console.”