The County of Santa Clara


Under advisement from November 19, 2019 (Item No. 28): Receive report relating to outreach regarding the safe storage of firearms in unincorporated areas of the County. (Office of the Sheriff)


Department:Office of the SheriffSponsors:


  1. Printout



There will be no impact to the County General Fund that will result from approval of the recommended action. 


At the November 19, 2020 Board of Supervisors meeting, during discussion of item 28, Santa Clara County Safe Storage of Firearms Community Outreach, Supervisor Ellenberg requested that the Sheriff report to the Board on date uncertain relating to a detailed outreach plan, including the timing and estimated overall cost for trigger lock giveaways; and, to consider engaging with retailers to promote gun safety through possible donations of additional trigger locks, gun safe giveaways, or providing baseline safety training.

The Sheriff’s Office has completed multiple additional actions in response to the Firearms Storage ordinance as follows.

1.     Created a tri-fold informational pamphlet explaining the new ordinance.  The pamphlets will be available to the public at all Sheriff’s Office lobbies.

2.     Created a short video, which features a Deputy/Firearms Instructor explaining the new ordinance.  The video includes a demonstration of how to properly secure and store firearms and also provides some useful firearm safety tips.

3.     Created a PowerPoint presentation to present at community meetings.  Three deputies have been selected to present the information.

4.     Shared the information, pamphlet and video on various Sheriff’s Office social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, YouTube) to spread awareness.

5.     Completed one community engagement meeting and have future community meetings scheduled as follows:

         January 22, 2020, 6:00pm – 7:30pm, Valley Medical Center, Valley Specialties Center

         February 19, 2020, 6:00pm – 7:30pm, Morgan Hill Community and Cultural Center

         February 26, 2020, 6:00pm – 7:30pm, Redwood Estates Pavilion

         An additional community meeting to be scheduled.

6.     Reached out to several companies that sell gun safes to see if they were interested in attending any of our community meetings to provide more information on DOJ compliant products.

7.     Reached out to the County CEO’s Office to plan a future joint press conference regarding the new ordinance (no set date or details yet).

8.     In early January, the Sheriff’s Office ordered 100 gun lock devices from Project Child Safe, a program of the National Shooting Sports Foundation (501.c.3.), at no cost or obligation to the County, for distribution at scheduled community outreach events, in order to promote the safe storage of privately owned firearms.  These devices are expected at the Sheriff’s Office the week of January 27, 2020. 

9.     Gun lock devices are also planned to be available for distribution by Sheriff’s staff within the community at pre-scheduled and other events, as opportunities arise to publicly discuss this essential safe gun storage topic, throughout communities supported by the Sheriffs Office. 


The recommended action will potentially have a positive impact on children and youth. Properly securing firearms within a residence provides a safety measure to protect youth and others from an accidental firearms discharge that could lead to great bodily injury or death.


The recommended action will potentially have a positive impact on the safety of seniors if they own firearms or reside in households where firearms are present.


The recommended action will have no/neutral sustainability implications.


On April 28, 2018 Supervisor Dave Cortese convened the Community Summit on Firearms and Safety at the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds. As a result of the input garnered at this event, Supervisor Cortese received several ideas for consideration. One idea involved the requirement via county ordinance for firearms at a residence to be stored in a safe or rendered safe via a trigger lock. Such a requirement would provide several safety benefits.

On August 13, 2019 this item was discussed by the Board of Supervisors, and County Counsel was tasked with bringing back an ordinance relating to the safe storage of firearms within the unincorporated areas of the county.

On September 10, 2019 County Counsel provided the Board of Supervisors a proposed county ordinance regarding the safe storage of firearms. A referral was made to address options for gun storage safety incentives and community outreach. The Sheriff’s Office was asked to address the community outreach strategies.

On November 19, 2019, the Board of Supervisors approved Ordinance No. NS-644 adding Chapter III to Division B19 of the County of Santa Clara Ordinance Code relating to the Safe Storage of Firearms in Unincorporated Areas of the County.


The Board of Supervisors would not receive this report regarding Safe Storage of Firearms Community Outreach and trigger lock giveaway plans by the Sheriff’s Office.


Meeting History

Feb 11, 2020 9:30 AM Video Board of Supervisors Regular Meeting

Added to the Consent Calendar at the request of Vice President Wasserman.