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Politics

Two New Bills Would Require Tighter Gun Security, Record Keeping

People line up to shoot at clay targets at an outdoor gun range at P2K Sports in El Cajon, February 1, 2017.
Susan Murphy
People line up to shoot at clay targets at an outdoor gun range at P2K Sports in El Cajon, February 1, 2017.

A Democratic lawmaker presented two gun safety laws Tuesday that would seek to reduce gun theft and improve tracking of licensed weapons.

The first, SB 464, requires store owners to better secure guns when the store is closed. The bill, drafted by Sen. Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, said guns should be taken out of display cases and locked in a safe or vault. Store owners could also lock guns in display cases with a steel rod or cable through the trigger guards and place steel or concrete pillars in front of the store.

"We want to make sure that these guns do not get in the hands of those who will use them for a criminal activity or do harm to someone," Hill said.

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Hill said about 800 guns were reported stolen from federally licensed gun dealers in California.

Sam Paredes, executive director of Gun Owners of California, said gun stores are already taking measures to protect their inventory.

"They don't want to lose any guns, so they're going to do whatever they can, whatever they can afford in order to protect their property in order to be able to sell them," Paredes said.

Hill's other measure, SB 22, requires California law enforcement agencies to have written procedures for accounting of all guns in their possession in order to prevent the loss and theft of guns.

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The procedures must include an updated list of guns as lost, stolen, or replaced. It must also include a process for law enforcement agencies to report what they have on hand once a year.

Both bills face additional committee votes later this spring.