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California Bill Would Require Police Officers To Keep Guns Secure In Cars

SACRAMENTO (CBS SF) – A bill introduced to the state Senate Tuesday would step up safety measures for handguns left in vehicles by law enforcement, according to state officials.

Senate Bill 869, introduced by state Senator Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties, would require law enforcement officers to securely stow any handgun they leave in vehicles.

According to state officials, under current state law peace officers are exempt from the safety requirements for guns left in a car that apply to everyone else.

Senate bill 869 would explicitly require that any person that leaves a handgun in a vehicle must lock the handgun in the vehicle's trunk, or place it in a locked container that is out of plain sight in the vehicle.

"This is a matter of basic public safety and common sense," Senator Hill said in a statement. "My bill would ensure that the requirements for safe gun storage in vehicles are the same for everyone in California - law enforcement officers and civilians."

SB 869 comes in response to two incidents involving guns stolen from law enforcement officer's vehicles last year that left two people dead in San Francisco and Oakland.

Additional incidents of theft of firearms from officer's vehicles include a gun belonging to a Hayward police officer being stolen from a car in Oakland last August, and a gun belonging to the chief of UC Berkeley Police being stolen from her car while she was jogging, also in August.

State officials said a violation would be punishable by a fine of up to $1,000.

© Copyright 2016 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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