Memo to American gun owners who see nothing wrong with so-called “safe storage” laws (e.g., NJ residents): The moment you make it a crime to fail to store your firearm in a legally prescribed manner is the moment you invite Johnny Law (a.k.a., the police) into your home to ensure compliance. And that could very well be an unannounced inspection. An inspection that could lead to firearms confiscation. In this case, centralsomersetgazette.com reports that the police entered David Robert Meek’s home “while making enquiries about a separate matter.” Does it matter? Nope. In The Land of Hope and Glory (as well as Canada), the police have the right to inspect any shotgun license holder’s home whenever they wish. And here’s what they found in Mr. Meek’s proverbial castle . . .
“When they inspected the inside of his house they found a gun cabinet with the padlock not securely clicked into place with three shotguns and a rifle inside which were therefore accessible,” he said.
“This was in contravention of the licence he held which stated that the cabinet must be locked at all times to prevent access by unauthorised people.”
Defending solicitor Gareth Webb said Meek was a self-employed lorry driver who had held shotgun licences for 40 years and considered himself a responsible person.
He said his client only used the shotguns if he went rabbit shooting but the rifle was a vastly more powerful weapon.
“If he takes it out he phones the police and gives them a long number and on September 24 he went out duck shooting and could have sworn that he closed the padlock because he remembered doing so,” he said.
“However he pushed it together and it obviously did not engage and was therefore not closed.
So the cops tugged on the lock and it opened. And Mr. Meek’s gun rights – such as they were – went out the window. In court, it turned out that the shotgun owner was Meek by name as well as nature.
“He accepts this was a serious problem because that would allow someone to go into the house and access the guns and he is a responsible member of the community who has admitted this offence.”
(Defending solicitor Gareth Webb) said that Meek had now had his shotgun licence revoked which had caused him concern as he had recently set up a consortium with friends who go shooting and he would now lose out financially.
The magistrates fined the defendant £220 and ordered him to pay £85 costs and a £22 victim surcharge.
Victim surcharge? Who was the victim here, exactly? I’m thinking Meeks. And British society, which is busy strolling down the road to a police state, having already established itself as the most surveilled nation on planet Earth.