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The Pleasanton City Council has unanimously approved an ordinance requiring the city’s gun owners to either store them in a locked container or keep an engaged trigger lock on their firearms.

The ordinance “seeks to curb access to firearms by children and other persons who may be at risk of harming themselves or others,” according to a staff report.

It also cites a 2016 study published in the American Journal of Public Health saying an estimated 54 percent of gun owners don’t lock up all their guns or store them trigger-locked, unloaded, and separate from ammunition.

Council members on Tuesday said the ordinance fills a gap in state law by not limiting guns to be locked up only in homes where children, or someone specifically prohibited from possessing firearms, live.

“It’s about the most important thing we can do, and anything we can do to ensure the safety of our small children, and teenagers and adults alike, it’s something worth doing.”

Councilwoman Valerie Arkin

Council member Valerie Arkin said the ordinance was “an important thing to do.”

“I think the safety of our residents is of the utmost importance,” Arkin said. “It’s about the most important thing we can do, and anything we can do to ensure the safety of our small children, and teenagers and adults alike, it’s something worth doing.”

Council member Jack Balch said he was concerned the ordinance duplicated state law, but voted for it anyway.

“I strongly believe that if you are a gun owner, you have a duty and a burden to our community, to exercise responsible gun ownership, including safely securing your firearms,” Balch said.

Mayor Karla Brown said she was proud Pleasanton was taking the extra step.

“The current state law does not apply to gun owners who do not have children,” Brown said. “We frequently know people who don’t have children, but on occasion have children come to visit. And when they come to visit, sometimes these hazards occur.”

The staff report also said in 2020 across the U.S., there were 369 unintentional shootings by children, resulting in 142 deaths and 242 injures.

Other Bay Area cites have enacted similar ordinances, including Dublin, Palo Alto, San Jose and Redwood City.