NAA, Federal Lawmakers React As State Senate Approves Gun Legislation
HARTFORD — A bill that attempts to tighten Connecticut’s safe gun storage laws is heading to Democratic Governor Ned Lamont’s desk.
The Senate on May 23 voted 34-2 in favor of the legislation which stems from the death of Ethan Song, a Guilford 15-year-old who accidentally shot himself with a handgun owned by a friend’s father. The legislation requires loaded and unloaded firearms to be safely stored in homes where there are minors under age 18. Song’s parents are pushing for similar legislation on the federal level.
The Senate has also given final legislative approval to a bill requiring handguns left in an unattended vehicle to be stored in a trunk, locked safe or locked glove box. The Senate has also sent Lamont a bill prohibiting unmarked, untraceable weapons known as ghost guns.
Po Murray, the Chairwoman of Newtown Action Alliance (NAA), released the following statement after the Senate's action:
“Passing safe storage laws for homes and cars and banning ghost guns will save many lives in Connecticut. We thank the Connecticut General Assembly for demonstrating to America that Democrats and Republicans can work together to pass gun control bills that will help to reduce gun deaths and injuries in America," Ms Murray said. “On May 7th, the Connecticut House passed Ethan’s Law with a 127-16 vote and yesterday the Connecticut Senate supported the bill with an unprecedented vote of 34-2. Only 18 out of 179 members of the Connecticut General Assembly voted against the bipartisan bill to require safe firearm storage in the home.
“Ethan Song was tragically killed by his neighbor’s unsecured gun last January," Ms Murray's statement continues. "On Tuesday, we stood on Capitol Hill with Ethan’s parents Kristin and Mike Song when Representatives Rosa DeLauro, Jim Langevin and Debbie Murcarsel-Powell introduced the House of Representatives version of Ethan’s Law H.R. 2867 to set the federal standards for firearm storage. Senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy introduced the Senate bill S.193 in January. It’s time for Congressional Democrats and Republicans to work together to pass Ethan’s Law on the federal level to prevent unintentional shootings, school shootings, suicides and violent crimes."
The NAA provided the following statistics:
*4.6 million children live in homes with at least one gun that is loaded and unlocked *Eight children are killed by unsecured guns every single day *In the last decade, nearly 2,000,000 firearms have been reported stolen *In 2016 alone, 238,000 firearms were reported stolen in the United States *A new Harvard study shows that up to a third of youth gun suicides, deaths and injuries could be prevented if guns are properly stored and ammunition is stored separately
“Joined by Kristin Song, Mike Song and Connecticut Against Gun Violence, we met with many House Republicans in Congress earlier this week and we all agreed that safe gun storage practices are a requirement for responsible gun ownership," Ms Murray said. "We encourage all House and Senate Republicans and Democrats to join our effort to pass Ethan’s Law and demonstrate to America that Congress can do more than send thoughts and prayers to the families and communities that are impacted by gun violence in America.”
That same afternoon, US Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn) released the following statement on the Connecticut State Senate vote:
“We applaud the passage of Ethan’s Law, a commonsense measure that will save lives -and prevent families across Connecticut from experiencing the kind of tragic loss that Ethan’s family did. Thank you to Representative Sean Scanlon and Senator Christine Cohen for their leadership on this issue. The Connecticut General Assembly has once again shown that it is possible for Democrats and Republicans to come together and pass desperately needed measures to end gun violence. Everywhere we go, people are demanding an end to the senseless gun violence that we have the power to stop. Congress now must follow Connecticut’s lead and pass Ethan’s Law,” said Blumenthal and Murphy.
Members of the Connecticut Congressional delegation have introduced a national version of Ethan’s Law. The bill honors the memory of Ethan Song—a Guilford teenager who accidentally shot himself with an unsecured gun in early 2018. Ethan’s Law would set federal standards for safe gun storage, as well as give states incentives to create and implement safe gun storage laws.
CLICK HERE to visit the Newtown Action Alliance website.
Associated Press content was used in this report.