- The Washington Times - Friday, November 29, 2019

Detroit area gun owners say a new ordinance putting them at risk for jail time has the practical effect of “totally absolving the criminals” who steal firearms from vehicles.

Police in Eastpointe, Michigan, recently informed citizens that leaving firearms in unlocked vehicles may cost them a hefty fine and up to three months in jail.

First-time offenders receive a municipal civil infraction subject to a fine up to $350.00, although a second infraction “shall constitute a misdemeanor punishable by a fine up to $500.00 or up to 90 days in jail or both.”

“The focus seems to be on law-abiding citizens who carry guns for their protection and their families,” Rick Ector of the gun-rights group Legally Armed told Detroit News for an interview published Friday. “The concern is that they are totally absolving the criminals who are stealing the guns and getting a slap on the wrist of a low bond in the first place.”

Eastpointe resident Brian Stone went a step further and called the ordinance No. 1178a, enacted late last month, a “violation of the Constitution.”

“If someone’s weapon were to be stolen, please tell me what would their incentive be to call it in?” Mr. Stone asked. “Face being fined and or charged with a crime. This isn’t the answer.”

Eastpointe Public Safety Director George Rouhib disagrees.

“It almost seemed like every other day someone was calling to say they had a gun stolen from their car,” Mr. Rouhib said. “I ran the numbers and it was quite alarming. … The majority of [vehicles] were left unlocked. … It’s not that intrusive. All we’re asking is, please, if you leave your gun in your car overnight, which is not a good idea, please lock it or bring the gun in the house, that’s all we’re asking. Nothing more, nothing less.”

Mr. Ector countered Mr. Rouhib by saying gun laws can only be enacted by the Michigan legislature and the federal government.

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