WASHINGTON–U.S. Senators Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and U.S. Representative Jahana Hayes (D-Conn.), along with U.S. Representative Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), introduced legislation directing the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to establish safety standards for firearm locks and firearm safes.
“Firearms in homes, especially homes with children, should be safely locked away. It’s common sense. Legislation establishing federal safety standards is a simple step to ensure deadly accidents don't happen,” said Murphy.
“Safe gun storage saves lives. Our bill directs CPSC to institute strong standards for firearm locks and safes, which will help responsible gun owners keep weapons out of the hands of children or people who pose a danger to themselves or others,” said Blumenthal. “Basic safety standards would prevent hundreds of senseless, needless accidental shootings, suicides, and other gun deaths every year.”
“When we talk about commonsense gun-violence reform, we are talking about bills like the Safe Gun Storage Act. This would establish safety standards that are supported by more than half of gun owners around the country. Connecticut has seen the tragic impact of improper gun storage and our legislators are leading the way to prevent future loss. I am grateful for the leadership of Senator Blumenthal, and my colleagues in the House to combat this crisis. This is simply a public safety issue – one with permanent consequences that no one else should have to endure,” said Hayes.
An estimated 4.6 million American minors live in a household with a firearm. According to a 2018 Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health survey, 54 percent of gun owners report storing their firearms in an unsafe manner. Eighteen percent of all gun injuries in our nation occur because of this high rate of improperly stored firearms in homes.
The Safe Gun Storage Act is co-sponsored in the Senate by U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Tom Carper (D-Del.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), and Patty Murray (D-Wash.).
The legislation is co-sponsored in the House of Representatives by U.S. Representatives Jake Auchincloss (D-Mass.), David Cicilline (D-R.I.), Adriano Espaillat (D-N.Y.), Ro Khanna (D-CA), Mondaire Jones (D-N.Y.), Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.), Joseph Morelle (D-N.Y.), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.), Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-Calif.), and Mary Gay Scanlon (D-Pa.).
Blumenthal and Murphy have also introduced legislation to create federal requirements for safe gun storage and strong penalties for any violations. Under this bill, gun owners would be required to secure their firearms in a “secure gun storage or safety device” if a minor is likely to gain access to the firearm without permission, or if a resident of the dwelling cannot legally possess a firearm. The bill also includes incentives for states to pass, and enforce compliance of, their own safe gun storage laws. The bill is named for Ethan Song, a teenager from Guilford, Connecticut who was tragically killed in 2018 after accidentally shooting himself with a gun that had been stored at a friend’s home.