Evanston’s Human Services Committee next week is scheduled to consider an ordinance that would require safe storage of firearms.

The measure, proposed by Mayor Daniel Biss, would make it illegal to have a gun in a home unless it is secured with an engaged trigger or cable lock or is stored in a locked container or gun room.

It would also be illegal to allow the key or combination to the security device to be readily available to a person not authorized to have the gun or to leave a secured handgun unattended in a vehicle within view of persons outside of it.

Fines under the measure would range from $1,000 to $2,000.

The ordinance would also create a private cause of action for a negligence suit against a gun owner by any person injured by an improperly stored weapon.

The proposed ordinance has already won the support of four council members — Krissie Harris (2nd), Jonathan Nieuwsma (4th), Devon Reid (8th) and Juan Geracaris (9th).

On the state level, a somewhat similar measure was proposed in the Illinois legislature in 2019, but died in the House Rules Committee at the end of the legislative session.

While Illinois is considered by the Everytown for Gun Safety organization to have the 7th strongest gun laws in the nation overall, it now has only a rather limited measure penalizing access to guns by children under the age of 14.

The American Academy of Pediatrics reports that about one-third of American children live in homes with firearms and that in 43% of those homes at least one gun is unlocked.

Bullet Points, a state-funded project of the Firearm Violence Research Center at the University of California Davis reviewed four types of safe storage devices. It says cable locks are the least expensive locking device, but that they can easily be cut by a thief or determined user.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. Surprised to see Reid sponsor this given his libertarian approach to other issues like drugs, nudity, and throwing rocks at people.

  2. Once again we see our ultra-woke mayor and his handpicked woke aldermen pursue a feel-good measure that is unenforceable. Will the police be going door-to-door on a gun lock check?

    Chicago had 53 shootings and 11 murders over the past holiday weekend. And you guys are talking about gun locks? How about we enforce the laws we have and put the bad guys in jail?

    I’m all in for fewer guns and lots more gun safety but this type of garbage ordinance solves nothing. What it does do is check another “see how woke I am” political box for the mayor for when he leaves Evanston and runs for another office. I sure wish he would leave soon.

    By the way, my rifle isn’t in a box and it isn’t locked. It’s on a top shelf and ready for immediate action when the time comes to protect the castle. See, criminals tend not to give you advance warning when they come in and threaten your family.

    And don’t forget, just a few years ago, our city council defunded our police department and it still hasn’t recovered. They vilified our men in blue and allowed “Defund EPD” to be painted on Elmwood near the station.



    1. Paul – well said

      It a national vs city issue.

      Would the mayor and council let citizens know how they will project the neighborhoods of this city, should some “silly kids” hale a crowd via social media to wilding – since the diminished and demoralized EPD is overwhelmed?

      Mayor clearly burnishing his social justice left of Bernie Progressive bonafides –

      Gun action – check!

      His next step – timing will tell – but not a nanosecond too soon, would it be:

      VEEP under Pritzker or Newsom – should DNC make the suspected swap –

      or replace Senator Dick Durbin or Tammy Duckworth – should either job become available

      Jan Schakoesky and Toni Preckwinkle unlikely to exit their fiefdoms anytime soon

    2. Extremely well stated Paul—-In case of home invasion I’m guessing the mayor and his minions believe a social worker will arrive in time to negotiate a peaceful settlement. To heck with constitutional law guaranteeing one’s rights to protect home and family, that’s nothing but trivial nonsense to our woke mayor. Not the first time Evanston city council has interpreted the 2nd Amendment as optional and this idiotic unenforceable proposal proves it (as correctly noted here)

      The horrific level of gun violence seen in Chicago this past Memorial Day weekend has become all too common, and kicks off yet another warm weather season of gun related murders. How many more feel good gun laws need to be passed to prove they don’t work?—-Illinois is stated here by Bill as one of the strictest gun law states in the country—-that’s entirely accurate and many studies will show Illinois more along the lines of being the 2nd or 3rd toughest gun law states, how’s that working out for us?

      I fully agree gun owners must adhere to stronger standards of gun safety in the home—-yet Paul very accurately points out that gun locks and safes makes firearms pointless when needed. Additionally Paul points out enforcing laws already on the books is the more common sense effective approach, and he’s right! One might look to Gov Pritzker for no cash bail law and Soros backed elected leftists refusing to enforce law as more viable reasons for continued gun violence. To consider legislating locks and safes to law abiding gun owners is absurd and pointless.

  3. So, if the cable lock can be easily cut – shouldn’t the ordinance also demand that wire-cutters and lockpicks be locked-up? Oh, wait, Ald. Reid thinks everyone needs to be able to carry lockpicks – even at 3am in a dark alley not near their home.
    Also, if AAP can opine on gun storage, can NRA equally opine on childhood vaccinations and gender “stuff”?

  4. The safe gun storage in the home ordinance may be unconstitutional since it renders the firearm useless for home defense. I do not see how enforcement of this ordinance can be made.
    Waste of ink and space in the city’s ordinance book.

  5. A departed friend of mine lived in Evanston on Maple in the 70’s. One evening 3 persons, one armed with a short barrel shotgun, kicked in his screen door and forcibly entered his house . Luckily he had a .45 within reach and shot all 3 . Yes this happened in Evanston. Under the safe storage gun ordinance, he would be either dead or badly harmed .

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