On Wednesday, Reps. Eliot Engel (D-NY) and Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) introduce a bill that is similar to the recent gun storage law passed in Washington state. From Engel’s tweet:
“Today I intro’d the #SafeGunStorageAct w/@RepJayapal. In the national dialogue surrounding #GunViolence, what is too often lost is the huge role guns play in the majority of suicides. Instituting safety standards on gun safes & locks will save lives.”
Excerpts from their statement:
“Congress Members Eliot L. Engel (NY-16) and Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) today introduced H.R. 4691, the Safe Gun Storage Act, legislation which would direct the Consumer Protection Safety Commission to establish safety standards for firearm safes and firearm locks.
Unsafely stored firearms are a major public safety and public health issue in our country. According to a 2018 Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health survey, 54% of gun owners report not storing their firearms safely, and 34% of these homes had children 18 years or younger in the home. 18% of all gun injuries in our nation occur because of improperly stored firearms in homes.
Additionally, household gun ownership increases the rate of gun related suicides, and this is particularly true in households with young children. In 2016, the CDC noted that 60% of all firearm deaths were from suicides, with more than 1,100 suicides by people between 10 and 19 years of age. The following year, 43% of all youth suicide involved a firearm. A 2018 study conducted by the American Journal of Preventive Medicine shows that a 10% increase of households with firearms has led to a 25% increase in the rate of youth suicide by a firearm. Study after study shows a clear correlation between an increased rate of households with guns and an increased rate in youth suicide by a firearm.
“Our nation has been plagued with gun violence. But what too often gets lost in the debate is the suicide rate by firearm,” said Rep. Eliot Engel. “Youth suicide rates are already staggeringly high and have been trending upward. We must decrease them, and we can, by ensuring firearm safes and firearm locks are used in homes. Those safes and locks also must have strong safety standards to prevent unauthorized people, especially children, from gaining access to firearms. This bill will save lives and I’m proud to introduce it with my colleague Rep. Jayapal. I thank her for joining me in this effort to keep our families and communities safe.”
Read the whole statement here.
The impact of this gun storage law in Seattle has yet to be realized. In fact, officials say it may take two years to determine the impact.
While I’m all for trying to prevent suicides, this gun storage law is aimed more at law-abiding citizens and cannot stop every gun-related suicide. It may prevent a few suicides yet will not minimal effect – in my opinion – on the number of gun-related deaths.
This law cannot be enforced unless bureaucrats go into your home to verify how you store your firearms. This law will punish people after a gun-related incident has occurred (someone stole your gun or a youth obtained a firearm that wasn’t stored properly).
This is just another Bloomberg/Giffords-initiated measure to erode your Second Amendment rights.
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