Legislation that would expand state law governing safe storage of firearms to cover unloaded guns was supported by State Rep. Kathy Kennedy (R-119) Tuesday, May 7, in the House of Representatives.
The legislation HB-7218, An Act Concerning the Safe Storage of Firearms in the Home and Firearm Safety Programs in Public Schools passed the House by a 127 to 16 vote. This bill expands the firearm safe storage laws, increases the age of a minor for these purposes to under age 18 and requires the State Board of Education (SBE), to develop guides to aid local and regional boards of education to develop firearm safety programs for public students in kindergarten through grade twelve.
“The safe storage of firearms will provide safe, secure, and reasonable gun storage for gun owners,” said Rep. Kennedy. “It will help keep firearms out of the hands of children and make our communities safer from gun violence. I applaud the section of the bill that includes a firearm safety education component for our young people.”
The legislation, branded “Ethan’s Law,” was initiated by parents of Ethan Song, a Guilford teenager who died in an accidental shooting in early 2018.
Current law requires only that loaded firearms are stored safely when children 16 and under are present in the home. In addition to expanding the law to cover unloaded firearms, the new legislation (H.B. 7218) would increase the age to 18.
Additionally, the bill requires the state’s Department of Education to develop gun safety curriculum for grades K through 12 and make it available for school districts to use.
The bill now awaits action in the State Senate.