KIRO NEWSRADIO OPINION

Ross: Treat your gun like your cell phone, don’t leave it unsecured

May 10, 2023, 9:11 AM | Updated: 9:38 am

gun unsecured...

Colleen had a great idea. You would never leave your cell phone in your car. Or your keys. Why leave an unsecured gun? (Photo by: Giovanni Mereghetti/UCG/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

(Photo by: Giovanni Mereghetti/UCG/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

On Sunday, the Tacoma Police Department held its first gun buyback event at Cheney Stadium — where people surrendered a total of 140 guns.

It was a response to an uptick in gun violence in Tacoma, and Tacoma Police Chief Avery Moore was certainly happy to take 140 guns out of circulation. But he also said he could use a little more help, especially from drivers.

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“But I will tell you that we put out a press release a few weeks ago about the number of firearms that are being stolen from vehicles, and it was relatively high,” Moore said. “Again, I don’t recall that exact number today. But there is a parallel to guns that are being left in cars that are being stolen.”

The chief says one of the main ways kids get guns is by stealing them from cars, and if that’s true — that sounds to me like something that’s easy to fix. Because as the chief says, nobody wants their gun stolen.

“A lot of this is done just out of convenience. And not done with the idea of I’m going to leave my gun exposed so someone can steal it to cause harm,” Moore said.

Ironically, it can happen because there are places where it’s considered unsafe to have a gun.

“For example, a place that doesn’t allow you to bring a firearm into their establishment, and the natural thing is to just put it in your car under the seat in the glove box thinking that it will be secured,” Moore said. “However, many times they are not.”

I asked the chief: if a gun that was left in a car is stolen by some kid who sells it, or shoots somebody — doesn’t the owner bear some responsibility? But he doesn’t see it that way.

“No one is putting their gun in a place to where they just think, ‘Oh, I’m gonna put it here, and I don’t care that it’s been stolen,'” Moore said. “Really, people are trying to do the right thing. Most of them have a license, and they’re trying to secure their guns the best way that they can considering they’re away from their home. It’s just a bad person is breaking in and committing an offense against that person, so they are victims too.”

So he’s not pushing for another law, he’s just trying to get gun owners to think ahead, and if they’re going somewhere that guns aren’t allowed — ditch the gun ahead of time.

“Just to educate the public and even help them be more responsible and take a moment of pause to say, ‘Hey, should I leave my gun in the car? Or should I take an extra 15-20 minutes and drive it home and put it in a secure spot?'” Moore said.

Colleen had a great idea — a new campaign: “Treat your gun like your cell phone.” You would never leave your cell phone in your car. Or your keys. Why leave an unsecured gun?

“I’ll probably steal your idea like that,” Moore said.

Stealing ideas with permission is OK. Getting your gun stolen by a kid is not.

Dave's Commentary

Dave Ross on KIRO Newsradio 97.3 FM
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