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Gun safety storage ordinance goes into effect Friday for unincorporated areas

A handgun sits on a table inside a San Diego County gun shop, Sept. 5, 2018.
Roland Lizarondo
A handgun sits on a table inside a San Diego County gun shop, Sept. 5, 2018.

A new San Diego County ordinance requiring all firearms in the unincorporated areas of the county be safely stored with either a trigger lock or locked away in a container takes effect Friday.

The only exception to the ordinance is if the firearm is within the immediate control of an authorized person.

"Safe firearm storage saves lives and prevents gun violence," said Nathan Fletcher, chairman of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors. "Last year we introduced the measure. Earlier this year the rules were finalized, and now we're delivering on our promise.


"The common-sense, safe storage guidelines that go into effect in our unincorporated areas will keep families safe, especially children," he said.

In 2019, 54 children and teens died by suicide in California due to the use of firearms. Studies have demonstrated the risk of suicide is higher in homes where a firearm is kept loaded or unlocked.

"Gun locks are an important safety measure that can provide critical time between someone having an impulse and taking action," said acting Sheriff Kelly Martinez.

The safe storage of guns was part of an ordinance passed Jan. 25 that also regulates non-serialized firearms and non-serialized pre-cursor firearm parts commonly known as ghost guns.

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