WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Tom Carper and Chris Coons (both D-DE), along with nineteen other senators, introduced new legislation directing the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to establish safety standards for firearm locks and firearm safes. U.S. Representatives Eliot Engel (D-NY) and Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) introduced companion legislation in the House of Representatives earlier this year.
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, more than half of all gun owners report storing their firearms in an unsafe manner. This bill is designed to stop these totally preventable gun injuries by improving the safety standards for how Americans store firearms in their homes.
“Today, I’m joining my colleagues to introduce a bill to better ensure that firearms are safely stored in the homes of gun owners and kept away from children who can harm themselves or others,” said Senator Carper. “Despite nearly 400 mass shootings in 2019 alone, Congress has failed to pass a single piece of common sense gun safety legislation, including universal background checks that are supported by 90 percent of Americans. We can and must do better for our children. We can use common sense to make our communities safer without infringing on the Second Amendments rights of law-abiding Americans. The Safe Gun Storage Act does just that.”
“We need to do everything we can to stop gun-related deaths in the United States, from big, bold reforms to smaller, targeted efforts like this one,” said Senator Coons. “While we work to get weapons of war off of our streets and keep guns out of the hands of criminals, we can also work to ensure that firearms in Americans’ homes are stored safely and away from children.”
The bill 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 after accidentally shooting himself with a gun that had been stored at a friend’s home.
In addition to Carper and Coons, the Safe Gun Storage Act is co-sponsored by U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Edward J. Markey (D-MA), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Bob Casey (D-NJ), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Tom Udall (D-NM), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Patty Murray (D-WA), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Jack Reed (D-RI), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and Chris Murphy (D-CT).