5/00 The Danger of Trigger Locks

The Danger of Trigger Locks
(May, 2000)

Trigger locks are being cynically sold to the American people as a way to prevent crime and accidental deaths involving firearms.

Legislation in Congress would force sellers to include anti-safety trigger locks with every handgun sold. Like seat belts, this requirement will be the first step towards mandating that gun owners lock up their guns. But “locking up your safety” means that a person’s gun will not be immediately usable in an emergency. This will actually cost lives.

The reason President Clinton supports these lock-up your safety devices, in his words is, “I’m not at all sure that even a callous, irresponsible drug dealer with a 6-year-old in the house wouldn’t leave a child trigger lock on a gun.” (The Washington Post 3/9/00)

Will a man who sells drugs to anybody (including children) also use a trigger lock on a gun? It’s silly enough for President Clinton to purport to believe that nonsense. But no pro-gun Senator should give credibility to this fairy tale.
Almost 7,000 people use a gun in self-defense every day

Almost 7,000 people each day use a gun in self-defense. What will trigger locks do to that figure (which is over three times the number of criminal uses of guns each day), if the trigger lock mania wins the day?

The anti-self defense crowd seems to think that criminals will obey a law they find inconvenient. “Well,” we are told, “seat belts save lives with cars; we only want trigger locks to do the same.” What is overlooked in this analogy is that guns without trigger locks save millions of lives a year. Trigger locks will be very counterproductive.
Trigger locks shot down at the polls in Washington

Voters in liberal Washington state voted overwhelmingly (71-29 percent) in 1997 against a trigger initiative on their ballot.

Handgun Control, Inc., has described trigger locks (and other anti-gun rights measures before the Congress) as just a first step. That is what they have said about banning certain rifles, about the Brady law, and now about trigger locks. They are admittedly heading for registration and licensure of gun owners, and that is where the debate will be if “pro-gun” compromisers give Handgun Control what they want now — trigger locks.
Trigger locks will cost innocent lives

The truth is, trigger locks will cost lives. Consider San Francisco resident A.D. Parker. Earlier this year, he was awakened by strange noises outside his bedroom in the middle of the night. The 83-year-old Parker grabbed a handgun he had not even used in several decades, went to his bedroom door, and found himself face-to-face with a thug holding a crowbar.

Thankfully, Mr. Parker didn’t have to fiddle with a trigger lock, remember a combination, or look for a key in the dark room. He simply pointed the gun and pulled the trigger. That is why he is still alive today.

Trigger locks should be an individual choice. Please don’t go down the road toward forcing these anti-safety devices upon the almost 7,000 people every day who use a gun to deter a criminal attack.

Provided by Gun Owners of America
8001 Forbes Place, Suite 102, Springfield, VA 22151, (703) 321-8585