This is a bit of a divergence from “Tactical Tidbits” but it’s important information for those of us that frequently transport firearms in our vehicles.
First, let me clarify that this ONLY applies to handguns. Long guns are not covered in this law.
The summary is that if you are transporting handguns in a vehicle, they must be in a locked trunk, safe or locked glove box. (Before you ask, NO, there’s no definition of what a “safe” is) if your vehicle is left “unattended.” The laws does define unattended to state that you must either be in the vehicle or in close proximity. (think, pumping gas, not buying coffee) The law goes on to tell us that the back of an SUV or the bed of a pickup truck is not allowed.
I’m not a lawyer, or a prosecutor but I’ve placed a large locking study plastic “box” in the back of my vehicle for when I transport handguns. The box that I chose would be ok to transport gun on an airplane, and that’s how I choose to interpret the word “safe” for my vehicle.
To my thinking, the biggest problem with this new law is that it becomes either a Class A Misdemeanor or a Class D Felony to the vehicle owner should their guns be stolen while they are left unsecured. Could you be charged while your vehicle is in your locked garage? Could you be charged while your vehicle is locked on your own property? These are issues that will need to be sorted out in the courts. This law seems to focus the fault of a firearm theft from the thief to the victim and that doesn’t feel right to me. While we all have a responsibility to properly secure our firearms, turning a victim into a criminal is never OK.
Proceed with caution!