Legislation would encourage states to pass laws to keep guns out of the hands of minors
May 21, 2019 — Today Giffords, the gun violence prevention organization led by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, praised the introduction of Ethan’s Law by Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT). Modeled on legislation by the same name under consideration in the Connecticut legislature, Ethan’s Law would help states pass child access prevention (CAP) laws and require gun owners to safely store firearms in their home. The legislation’s namesake, Ethan Song, was only 15 years old when he accidentally shot and killed himself with an unsecured firearm in a friend’s home last year. The bill is the House companion to legislation introduced by Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) earlier this year.
“No family should experience a terrible tragedy like Ethan’s did, but it happens far too often in our country,” said Robin Lloyd, Managing Director of Giffords. “An unsecured firearm in the home is not a harmless object. It’s a lethal threat that causes thousands of children and young people to be injured or killed every year. Gun owners must make sure their weapons are secure so a young person never has the opportunity to use it in a reckless way. We thank Rep. DeLauro for her leadership and urge Congress to pass this bill to ensure no more families suffer because a gun went off in a child’s hands.”
Research has shown there is an increased risk of suicide, unintentional injury, and death for children and young people when firearms are easy to access in the home. More than two-thirds of students who used guns to commit “targeted violence” against their school acquired the gun or guns used in their attacks from their own home or that of a relative. CAP laws hold adults liable when minors gain access to negligently stored firearms or when parents or guardians directly provide a firearm to a minor. With 4.6 million American children living in homes with loaded, unlocked guns, it is critical that Congress pass legislation like Ethan’s Law to encourage states to enact child access prevention laws and discourage unsafe storage of firearms.