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Comprehensive child access prevention and safe storage laws are an incredibly effective tool to curb gun deaths and injuries among children and teens.

Unsecured guns pose clear safety risks, particularly to children. When guns are not stored safely or securely and they are accessible to unsupervised minors, the risk of death or injury significantly increases. Hundreds of thousands of firearms are also stolen from homes, vehicles, and individuals each year, funneling guns into an underground market where many of them are sold to people who use them to commit violent crimes.

Child access prevention (CAP) and safe storage laws promote responsible firearm storage practices and hold gun owners accountable for failing to take simple yet important measures to prevent guns from falling into the wrong hands. Generally speaking, CAP laws impose a penalty on someone who fails to secure an unattended firearm and leaves it accessible to an unsupervised minor. In contrast, safe storage laws require unattended firearms to be stored in a certain way. 

Background

More than half of all gun owners store at least one gun unsafely—without any locks or other safe storage measures.1 In fact, nearly a quarter of all gun owners report storing all of their guns in an unlocked location in the home.2 

Unsecured guns are accessible to people who work in or break into the home, minors, and other unauthorized individuals. Laws preventing guns from being left unattended and unsecured can help reduce these numbers and save lives. 

Kids & Teens

4.6 million minors in the US live in homes with at least one loaded, unlocked firearm. 3 Many children know where their parents keep their guns and have accessed household guns — even if their parents think otherwise.

  • Although 70% of parents reported that adolescents could not independently access firearms in their household, over one-third of children belonging to those households reported being able to access the firearm in less than five minutes.4
  • Many of these children handled guns without their parents’ knowledge. Nearly a quarter of parents did not know that their children had handled a gun in their house. 5

Household guns, often the most easily accessible firearms for youth, are a major source of weapons used in school shootings, youth suicides, and unintentional shooting deaths among children.

  • Studies show that between 70 and 90% of guns used in youth suicides, unintentional shootings among children, and school shootings perpetrated by shooters under the age of 18 are acquired from the home or the homes of relatives or friends.6
  • Several studies have shown that the risk of suicide and unintentional shootings among youth increases in homes where guns are kept loaded and/or unlocked.7

Safe firearm storage helps prevent gun deaths and injuries in children, and research suggests that CAP and safe storage laws increase safe storage behavior. This makes these laws incredibly effective at preventing gun deaths and injuries among children and teens.

  • Estimates suggest that even modest increases in the number of American homes safely storing firearms could prevent almost a third of youth gun deaths due to suicide and unintentional firearm injury.8
  • Numerous studies over the past 20 years have found that child access prevention laws can reduce suicide and unintentional gun deaths and injuries among children and teens by up to 54%, with the greatest reductions occurring in states which require safe storage of firearms.9

Adults

Even among adults, compared with people who stored their firearms unlocked and/or loaded, those who stored their firearms safely were less likely to die by firearm suicide.10

  • One study found that states with a law in place that required handguns to be locked at least in certain circumstances experienced reduced rates of firearm suicide generally.11

Gun Theft

Unsecured weapons in homes and vehicles are also fueling an epidemic of gun thefts across the country. These guns may be diverted to the underground market, where they are used in crime.

  • Nationally–representative survey data suggests that approximately 380,000 guns are stolen from individual gun owners each year.12
  • From 2006 to 2016, the number of guns reported stolen from individuals increased by approximately 60%.13 Similarly, many cities have reported alarming spikes in the number of firearms stolen from cars.14
  • An analysis of more than 23,000 stolen firearms recovered by police between 2010 and 2016 found that the majority of these weapons were recovered in connection with crimes, including more than 1,500 violent acts such as murder, kidnapping, and armed robbery.15
  • Gun owners who do not safely store their firearms are significantly more likely to have their guns stolen.16

Summary of Federal Law

There are no federal child access prevention or safe storage laws. 

Federal law does, however, make it unlawful for any licensed importer, manufacturer or dealer to sell or transfer any handgun unless the transferee is provided with a “secure gun storage or safety device.”17 

Federal law does not require that the purchaser use the secure gun storage or safety device but does immunize the lawful owner of a handgun who uses a secure gun storage or safety device from certain civil actions based on the criminal or unlawful misuse of the handgun by a third party.18 While federal law does not make it a crime to leave an unattended firearm accessible to a minor or person who is prohibited from gun possession, federal law, and the laws of many states, do impose minimum age restrictions that limit the sale and transfer of firearms to young people. These laws are discussed in our summary on the Minimum Age to Purchase and Possess Firearms.19

Summary of State Law

90%
of shootings by kids involve guns from home
Up to 90% of guns used by minors in suicides, unintentional shootings, and school shootings are found in the child’s home or the home of a relative.

Source

Renee M. Johnson, et al., “Who Are the Owners of Firearms Used in Adolescent Suicides?,” Suicide and Life-threatening Behavior 40, no. 6 (2010): 609-611; Guohua Li, et al., “Factors Associated with the Intent of Firearm-related Injuries in Pediatric Trauma Patients,” Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine 150, no. 11 (1996): 1160-1165; John Woodrow Cox and Steven Rich, “”The Gun is Not in the Closet,’” The Washington Post, August 1, 2018, https://wapo.st/2M2HSH6. See also, Bryan Vossekuil, et al., “The Final Report and Findings of the Safe School Initiative: Implications for the Prevention of School Attacks in the United States,” US Secret Service and US Department of Education, July 2004, https://www2.ed.gov/admins/lead/safety/preventingattacksreport.pdf; Tawnell D. Hobbs, “Most Guns Used in School Shootings Come From Home,” The Wall Street Journal, April 5, 2018, https://on.wsj.com/2Eydv2f.

Child access prevention (CAP) and safe storage laws take a variety of forms. Generally, CAP laws impose liability on a gun owner after they have failed to keep a gun inaccessible to a minor. The strongest CAP laws hold people accountable for  storing a gun unsafely in a manner that makes it likely that a minor could access it, regardless of whether the minor actually gained access or used the firearm to harm themselves or others. The weakest CAP laws only impose liability on an adult who leaves a firearm accessible to a minor if that minor both accesses the firearm and uses it to cause bodily injury or death. 

There is a wide range of laws that fall somewhere in the middle. State CAP laws also differ on the definition of “minor” with many states’ CAP laws only applying to storage of firearms around younger children instead of high-school aged adolescents. State CAP laws also differ on whether they make gun owners liable for leaving a firearm accessible to an adult person who is legally prohibited from possessing firearms, such as after a disqualifying criminal conviction, in addition to minors.

In contrast to CAP laws, safe storage laws define what it means to safely store a firearm and require gun owners to keep unattended firearms stored in those ways. States can either require that all unattended firearms are stored safely or only when certain people are likely to be present, such as minors or people who are prohibited from firearms possession. 

States with CAP or Safe Storage Laws

  • California20
  • Colorado21
  • Connecticut22
  • Delaware23
  • District of Columbia24
  • Florida25
  • Hawaii26
  • Illinois27
  • Iowa28
  • Maine29
  • Maryland30
  • Massachusetts31
  • Minnesota32
  • Nevada33
  • New Hampshire34
  • New Jersey35
  • New York36
  • North Carolina37
  • Oregon38
  • Rhode Island39
  • Texas40
  • Virginia41
  • Washington42
  • Wisconsin43
* Utah’s law generally does not make adults liable for making firearms accessible to minors but for failing to remove firearms from minors who have violated minimum age laws. See footnote for more detail.

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State Child Access Prevention Laws

For citations to these laws, please see the list above.

Laws Imposing Criminal Liability for Negligent or Reckless Storage of a Firearm

Sixteen states and the District of Columbia have laws that impose criminal liability on people who store firearms where minors could or do gain access to the firearm. Typically, these laws apply whenever the person “knows or reasonably should know” that a child is likely to gain access to the firearm. 

There are a number of variations in these types of laws, including whether the child must use the firearm, and whether the firearm must be loaded. The most significant variations are described below.

States Imposing Criminal Liability When a Child Could or Does Gain Access to a Firearm

The broadest laws apply regardless of whether the child gains possession of the firearm. California, Minnesota, Nevada, Virginia, and the District of Columbia impose liability in circumstances where a child may (Nevada) or is likely to (California, Minnesota, District of Columbia) gain access to a firearm. The laws in Delaware, Hawaii,44 Maryland, New Jersey, and Texas apply whenever a child gains access to an improperly stored firearm. In these states, it is not necessary for the child to actually use the firearm or cause any injury.

States Imposing Criminal Liability When a Child “May” or “Is Likely To” Gain Access to the Firearm
  • California (also applies to unloaded firearms)
  • District of Columbia (also applies to unloaded firearms)
  • Minnesota
  • Nevada (also applies to unloaded firearms)
  • Virginia
States Imposing Criminal Liability for Allowing a Child to Gain Access to the Firearm, Regardless of Whether the Child Uses the Firearm or Causes Injury
  • Delaware45
  • Hawaii (also applies to unloaded firearms)
  • Maryland
  • New Jersey
  • Texas
States Imposing Criminal Liability Only if the Child Uses or Carries the Firearm

Nine states require that the child carry or use the firearm in some way before criminal liability attaches. In Illinois, Iowa, North Carolina, and Rhode Island, the statute applies when the child uses the firearm to cause death or serious injury. Iowa, Florida, Maine, New Hampshire,  North Carolina, and Wisconsin also impose criminal liability when the minor takes the firearm to a public place, and/or uses the firearm in a threatening manner. The Maine, New Hampshire, and North Carolina statutes also impose criminal liability when the child uses the firearm in the commission of a crime.

  • Florida
  • Illinois
  • Iowa
  • Maine
  • New Hampshire
  • North Carolina46
  • Rhode Island
  • Washington
  • Wisconsin

CAP-Plus Laws

California’s law also makes people liable if they leave a firearm accessible to a person prohibited from firearms possession under certain circumstances. 

Under California law, a person may be held criminally liable for leaving unattended firearms accessible to people who cannot legally possess firearms. A person will only be criminally liable, however, if the person who is prohibited from firearms possession did, in fact, gain access to the firearm and used it to cause injury to themselves or others, carried the firearm to a public place, or illegally brandished the firearm.47

Common Exceptions

Even when a minor has gained access to a firearm, most states will exempt a person from liability under certain circumstances such as:

  • The firearm was stored in a locked container (California, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina,48 Rhode Island, Texas, and Washington).
  • The minor gained access to the firearm via illegal entry of the premises (California, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Texas, and Washington).
  • The firearm was used for hunting, sport shooting or agricultural purposes.
  • The minor used the gun in defense of self or others (California).

Definition of “Minor”

The age which triggers a state’s CAP law varies, ranging from children under 14 to those under 18.

  • Under 18: California, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Kentucky, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nevada, North Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, and Washington
  • Under 17: Texas
  • Under 16: Florida, Maine, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, and Rhode Island
  • Under 14: Illinois, Iowa, Virginia, and Wisconsin

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Safe Storage Laws

States Requiring that All Firearms be “Safely Stored” to Prevent Access by Unauthorized Users

Six states require gun owners to keep unattended guns stored in specified ways to prevent access by all unauthorized individuals or a subset of people such as minors and people who are legally prohibited from possessing firearms. Some states require all gun owners to safely store their firearms, as defined by the state, but only impose penalties if a minor is likely to, or does, access the firearm. 

Safe storage at all times guns are unattended:

  • Massachusetts
  • Oregon

Safe storage only when certain people are likely to be present:

  • Colorado 
  • Connecticut
  • New York
Colorado

Colorado law requires firearms to be safely stored when they are not in use to prevent access by unsupervised juveniles and other unauthorized users.49

 A firearm is safely stored when:

  • A person carries the firearm or keeps it within such close proximity that the person can retrieve the firearm as if it they were carrying it;
  • The firearm is kept in a locked gun safe or other secure container or in a manner that a reasonable person would believe to be secure and a juvenile or resident of the premises who is ineligible to possess a firearm does not have access to the key, combination, or other unlocking mechanism necessary to open the safe or container;
  • The person properly installs a locking device on the firearm and a juvenile or resident of the premises who is ineligible to possess a firearm does not have access to the key, combination, or other unlocking mechanism necessary to remove the locking device; or
  • The firearm is a personalized firearm and the safety characteristics of the firearm are activated.50

A person commits unlawful storage of a firearm when the person fails to responsibly and securely store a firearm, as described above upon any premises that the person owns or controls and the person knows or reasonably should know that:

  • A juvenile can gain access to the firearm without the permission of the juvenile’s parent or guardian; or
  • A resident of the premises is ineligible to possess a firearm pursuant to state or federal law.51
Connecticut

Connecticut prohibits any person from storing or keeping a firearm on his or her premises or under his or her control if he or she knows or reasonably should know that a person:

  • Under the age of 18; 
  • Ineligible to possess firearms under state or federal law; or
  • Who poses a risk of imminent personal injury to himself, herself or others

is likely to gain access to the firearm without the permission of the minor’s parent or guardian.52

A person is not criminally liable, however, if the firearm is:

  • Securely locked in a box or other container or in a manner which a reasonable person would believe to be secure; or 
  • The person carries the firearm on his or her person or within such close proximity that he or she can readily retrieve and use it as if it were on his or her body.53 

A person who violates this safe storage requirement shall be held strictly liable for damages when a minor obtains the unlawfully stored firearm and causes injury to or the death of any person.54

A person is liable for “criminally negligent storage of a firearm” when he or she does not comply with the aforementioned safe storage requirements and a person under the age of 18 obtains the firearm and causes injury or death to himself, herself or any other person.55

Massachusetts 

Massachusetts requires that all firearms are stored with a locking device in place when the firearms are not in use or under the owner’s immediate control. The state bars storing or keeping any firearm unless it is secured in a locked container or equipped with a tamper-resistant mechanical lock or other safety device. This requirement does not apply to any firearm “carried by or under the control of the owner or other lawfully authorized user.”56 

When a rifle or shotgun is stored or kept in a place where a person younger than 18 years of age who does not possess a valid firearm identification card may have access, penalties increase. Furthermore, a violation of the safe storage law will be evidence of reckless or wanton conduct in a civil or criminal trial if a minor under the age of 18:

  • Acquired access to a firearm; 
  • The minor did not possess a valid firearm identification card or was not legally permitted to possess the firearm; and 
  • The minor used the firearm to cause personal injury to or the death of any person
New York

In 2022, New York strengthened its safe storage law. As of September 1, 2022, no person shall store or otherwise leave a firearm out of his or her immediate possession or control without having first securely locked it in an appropriate safe storage depository or rendered it incapable of being fired by use of a gun locking device appropriate to that weapon if that person resides with an individual who:

  • Is under eighteen years of age; 
  • The person knows or has reason to know is prohibited from possessing a firearm 
    • Pursuant to an extreme risk protection order or certain federal prohibitions; or 
    • Based on a conviction for a felony or a serious offense.57

A “safe storage depository” is defined as a safe or other secure container which, when locked, is incapable of being opened without the key, keypad, combination or other unlocking mechanism and is capable of preventing an unauthorized person from obtaining access to and possession of the weapon. It must be fire, impact, and tamper resistant.58 

Localities may enact their own safe storage ordinances with heightened requirements.

A violation of this law is punishable as a misdemeanor.59 

New York left in place, however, the older version of its safe storage law that applies to people who do not reside with minors, but know or have reason to know that someone under the age of 16 is likely to gain access to a firearm. Those individuals must secure firearms in a safe storage depository or render them incapable of being fired by use of a gun locking device. A violation of the law is a fine of not more than two hundred fifty dollars.60

Oregon 

In 2021, Oregon enacted a safe storage law that requires the owner or possessor of a firearm to, at all times that the firearm is not carried by or under the control of the owner, possessor or authorized person, secure the firearm:

  • With an engaged trigger or cable lock;
  • In a locked container; or
  • In a gun room.

A firearm is not considered secured if:

  • A key or combination to the trigger or cable lock or the container is readily available to a person the owner or possessor has not authorized to carry or control the firearm; or
  • The firearm is a handgun, is left unattended in a vehicle, and is within view of persons outside the vehicle.

Violations of the law are civil infractions however the penalties increase if if a minor (under 18 years old) obtains an unsecured firearm as a result of the violation and the owner or possessor of the firearm knew or should have known that a minor could gain unauthorized access to the unsecured firearm.

Additionally, if a owner or possessor of a firearm violates the safe storage law and, as a result, the firearm is used to injure a person or property within two years of the violation, the injured party may bring a civil action against the owner or possessor and the court must find that the owner or possessor was negligent (this is a legal standard known as “negligence per se).61

States Imposing Civil Liability on People Who Fail to Store Firearms Properly

California

California62 imposes civil liability on the parent or guardian of a minor for damages resulting from the minor’s discharge of a firearm, where the parent or guardian permitted the minor to have the firearm or left it accessible to the minor. 

Connecticut

Connecticut imposes strict liability in civil actions on persons who fail to store firearms securely and a minor gains access and causes injury or death.63

Massachusetts

Massachusetts allows a violation of the safe storage law to be evidence of reckless and wanton conduct in a civil action.  

Oregon

Violations of Oregon’s safe storage law constitute “negligence per se” in a resulting civil lawsuit.

Key Legislative Elements

The features listed below are intended to provide a framework from which policy options may be considered. A jurisdiction considering new legislation should consult with counsel.

  • The law applies to people who negligently store firearms under circumstances where minors could gain access to the firearm, regardless of whether the minor actually gains access to or uses the firearm (California, Massachusetts, Minnesota, District of Columbia).
  • The law applies to people who negligently store firearms even when the firearm is unloaded (California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, District of Columbia).
  • Civil liability for damages resulting from the discharge of a firearm is imposed on people who negligently store firearms when a minor gains access (California).
  • “Minor” is defined as a child under the age of 18 for long guns (Colorado, Delaware, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, North Carolina, Utah), and a person under the age of 21 for handguns, for purposes of the CAP law.
  • All firearms are required to be stored with a locking device in place (Massachusetts).

  1. Cassandra K. Crifasi, et al., “Storage Practices of US Gun Owners in 2016,” American Journal of Public Health 108, no. 4 (2018): 532–537.[]
  2. Id.[]
  3. Deborah Azrael, Joanna Cohen, Carmel Salhi, and Matthew Miller, “Firearm Storage in Gun–owning Households with Children: Results of a 2015 National Survey,” Journal of Urban Health 95, no. 3 (2018): 295–304.[]
  4. Carmel Salhi, Deborah Azrael, Matthew Miller, “Parent and Adolescent Reports of Adolescent Access to Household Firearms in the United States,” JAMA Network Open, (2021).[]
  5. Frances Baxley and Matthew Miller, “Parental Misperceptions About Children and Firearms,” Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine 160, no. 5 (2006): 542-547.[]
  6. Renee M. Johnson, et al., “Who Are the Owners of Firearms Used in Adolescent Suicides?,” Suicide and Life-threatening Behavior 40, no. 6 (2010): 609-611; Guohua Li, et al., “Factors Associated with the Intent of Firearm-related Injuries in Pediatric Trauma Patients,” Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine 150, no. 11 (1996): 1160-1165; John Woodrow Cox and Steven Rich, “”The Gun is Not in the Closet,’” The Washington Post, August 1, 2018, https://wapo.st/2M2HSH6. See also, Bryan Vossekuil, et al., “The Final Report and Findings of the Safe School Initiative: Implications for the Prevention of School Attacks in the United States,” US Secret Service and US Department of Education, July 2004, https://www2.ed.gov/admins/lead/safety/preventingattacksreport.pdf; Tawnell D. Hobbs, “Most Guns Used in School Shootings Come From Home,” The Wall Street Journal, April 5, 2018, https://on.wsj.com/2Eydv2f.[]
  7. David C. Grossman, et al., “Gun Storage Practices and Risk of Youth Suicide and Unintentional Firearm Injuries,” JAMA 293, no. 6 (2005): 707–714. See also, Matthew Miller and David Hemenway, “The Relationship Between Firearms and Suicide: a Review of the Literature,” Aggression and Violent Behavior 4, no. 1 (1999): 59–75; Daniel W. Webster, Jon S. Vernick, April M. Zeoli, and Jennifer A. Manganello, “Association Between Youth–focused Firearm Laws and Youth Suicides,” JAMA 292, no. 5 (2004): 594–601.[]
  8. Michael C. Monuteaux, Deborah Azrael, and Matthew Miller, “Association of Increased Safe Household Firearm Storage With Firearm Suicide and Unintentional Death Among US Youths,” JAMA Pediatrics (2019).[]
  9. Emma C. Hamilton, et al., “Variability of Child Access Prevention Laws and Pediatric Firearm Injuries,” Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery 84, no. 4 (2018): 613–619. See also, Peter Cummings, David C. Grossman, Frederick P. Rivara, and Thomas D. Koepsell, “State Gun Safe Storage Laws and Child Mortality Due to Firearms,” JAMA 278, no. 13 (1997): 1084–1086; Daniel W. Webster, Jon S. Vernick, April M. Zeoli, and Jennifer A. Manganello, “Association Between Youth–focused Firearm Laws and Youth Suicides,” JAMA 292, no. 5 (2004): 594–601; Jeffrey DeSimone, Sara Markowitz, and Jing Xu, “Child Access Prevention Laws and Nonfatal Gun Injuries,” Southern Economic Journal 80, no. 1 (2013): 5–25.[]
  10. Edmond D. Shenassa, Michelle L. Rogers, Kirsten L. Spalding, and Mary B. Roberts, “Safer Storage of Firearms at Home and Risk of Suicide: a Study of Protective Factors in a Nationally Representative Sample,” Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health 58, no. 10 (2004): 841–848.[]
  11. Michael D. Anestis and Joye C. Anestis, “Suicide Rates and State Laws Regulating Access and Exposure to Handguns,” American Journal of Public Health 105, no. 10 (2015): 2049–2058.[]
  12. David Hemenway, Deborah Azrael, and Matthew Miller, “Whose Guns are Stolen? The Epidemiology of Gun Theft Victims,” Injury Epidemiology 4, no. 1 (2017).[]
  13. Brian Freskos, “Missing Pieces: Gun Theft from Legal Gun Owners is on the Rise, Quietly Fueling Violent Crime, The Trace, November 20, 2017, https://bit.ly/2izST1h.[]
  14. Martin Kaste, “More Guns In Cars Mean More Guns Stolen From Cars,” NPR, May 9, 2019, https://n.pr/2MdG66e.[]
  15. Brian Freskos, “Missing Pieces: Gun Theft from Legal Gun Owners is on the Rise, Quietly Fueling Violent Crime, The Trace, November 20, 2017, https://bit.ly/2izST1h.[]
  16. David Hemenway, Deborah Azrael, and Matthew Miller, “Whose Guns are Stolen? The Epidemiology of Gun Theft Victims,” Injury Epidemiology 4, no. 1 (2017).[]
  17. 18 U.S.C. § 922(z)(1). A “secure gun storage or safety device” is defined under 18 U.S.C. § 921(a)(34) as: (A) a device that, when installed on a firearm, is designed to prevent the firearm from being operated without first deactivating the device; (B) a device incorporated into the design of the firearm that is designed to prevent the operation of the firearm by anyone not having access to the device; or (C) a safe, gun safe, gun case, lock box, or other device that is designed to be or can be used to store a firearm and that is designed to be unlocked only by means of a key, a combination, or other similar means.[]
  18. 18 U.S.C. § 922(z)(3).[]
  19. Federal law prohibits federally licensed firearms dealers from transferring handguns to persons under age 21 and long guns to persons under age 18. Federal law also makes it unlawful for anyone to transfer a handgun to a person under age 18, with certain exceptions, such as with the prior written consent of the minor’s parent or guardian. 18 U.S.C. §§ 922(b)(1), 922(x)(1).[]
  20. Cal. Penal Code §§ 25000-25225; Cal. Civ. Code § 1714.3.[]
  21. Colo. Rev. Stat. §§ 18-12-114 (negligence-based); 18-12-108.7 (knowing, intentional, reckless standard).[]
  22. Conn. Gen. Stat §§ 29-37i, 52-571g, 53a-217a.[]
  23. Del. Code Ann. tit. 11, §§ 603, 1456.[]
  24. D.C. Code Ann. § 7-2507.02(b)-(d).[]
  25. Fla. Stat. Ann. § 790.174.[]
  26. Haw. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 134-10.5, 707-714.5.[]
  27. 430 Ill. Comp. Stat. 65/4(c); 720 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/24-9(a).[]
  28. Iowa Code § 724.22(7).[]
  29. Me. Stat., 17-A § 554(1)(B-4).[]
  30. Md. Code Ann., Crim. Law § 4-104.[]
  31. Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 140, § 131L.[]
  32. Minn. Stat. § 609.666.[]
  33. Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 41.472, 202.300(1) – (3).[]
  34. N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 650-C:1.[]
  35. N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:58-15.[]
  36. N.Y. Penal Law §§ 265.45, 265.50.[]
  37. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-315.1.[]
  38. Or. Rev. Stat. § 166.395.[]
  39. R.I. Gen. Laws § 11-47-60.1.[]
  40. Tex. Penal Code Ann. § 46.13.[]
  41. Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-56.2.[]
  42. Washington Initiative 1639. Washington’s law applies to all people prohibited from possessing firearms, not just children.[]
  43. Wis. Stat. § 948.55.[]
  44. While Haw. Rev. Stat. § 134-10.5 appears to criminalize negligent storage when a child is likely to gain access to a firearm, Haw. Rev. Stat. § 707-714.5 only provides penalties if the child actually gains access to a firearm.[]
  45. Delaware’s law only applies to parents, guardians, or other individuals charge with the care of a child under 18.[]
  46. North Carolina’s statute only applies to the negligent storage of firearms by persons who reside with a minor.[]
  47. Cal. Penal Code § 25100(a), (b).[]
  48. In North Carolina, liability is imposed if the firearm is stored or left “in a condition that the firearm can be discharged.”[]
  49. Colo. Rev. Stat. § 18-12-114(1). A juvenile is someone under 18 years of age. Colo. Rev. Stat. § 18-12-108.5.[]
  50. Colo. Rev. Stat. § 18-12-114(1).[]
  51. Colo. Rev. Stat. § 18-12-114(2).[]
  52. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 29-37i. Prior to October 1, 2019, this prohibition applied only to loaded guns and for children under the age of 16. In 2019, Connecticut adopted Public Law No. 19-5, also known as Ethan’s Law, which raised the age to 18 and applied the prohibition to both loaded and unloaded firearms.[]
  53. Id.[]
  54. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 52-571g.[]
  55. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53a-217a(a). This prohibition does not apply if the minor gains access to the firearm via illegal entry of any premises where the gun is located by any person. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53a-217a(b).[]
  56. Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 140, § 131L.[]
  57. New York Penal Law § 265.45(1).[]
  58. Id. at (3).[]
  59. Id. at (4).[]
  60. New York Penal Law § 265.50.[]
  61. Or. Rev. Stat. § 166.395.[]
  62. In October 2005, as part of the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA), Congress passed and the President signed a law immunizing any person from a “qualified civil liability action” who is in lawful possession and control of a handgun and who uses a secure gun storage or safety device with the handgun. 18 U.S.C. § 922(z). “Qualified civil liability action” is defined as a civil action for damages resulting from the criminal or unlawful misuse of a handgun by a third party if: (A) the handgun was accessed by another person who did not have the authorization of the lawful possessor; and (B) at the time the handgun was accessed it had been made inoperable by the use of a secure gun storage or safety device. 18 U.S.C. § 922(z)(3).[]
  63. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 52-571g.[]