Bicameral Package Aims to Implement Safe Firearm Storage Habits, Protect Minors from Unintentional Harm
LANSING, Mich. — State Reps. Mari Manoogian (D-Birmingham) and Felicia Brabec (D-Pittsfield) and state Sens. Rosemary Bayer (D-Beverly Hills), Stephanie Chang (D-Detroit), Jeff Irwin (D-Ann Arbor), and Mallory McMorrow (D-Royal Oak) have introduced a package of bills to protect families by encouraging gun owners to securely lock away and store weapons when not in use.
House Bills 5066 and 5069 and Senate Bills 550 and 553 would require firearms to be properly secured by their owners to prevent accidental injury or death when they have minors in the home.
Across the country, 4.6 million children live in homes with unlocked or unsupervised firearms, with 75% of those children knowing exactly where those guns are kept. As a result, eight children and teens are killed or injured every day from firearms kept in their own homes. Every year, nearly 350 children under the age of 18 unintentionally shoot themselves or someone else.
“The safety of our communities is our highest priority,” said Rep. Manoogian. “Nobody should have to endure a child or loved one being hurt or killed by an unsecured firearm. Responsible gun owners and firearms safety advocates agree that committing to safe and secure firearm storage is the best way that we can ensure that lives are saved.”
House Bills 5067 and 5068 and Senate Bills 551 and 552 would exempt gun safety devices like safes, lock boxes, trigger and barrel locks from sales and use tax to make them easier for gun owners to access.
“Research has shown that states with safe storage laws on the books experienced a significant reduction in firearm fatalities among children,” said Rep. Brabec. “This is a common-sense measure that has the potential to save countless lives from unintentional shootings.”
“As a legislator, mother of two young daughters, and wife of a responsible gun owner, I believe it is important that we do everything we can to ensure the safe storage of firearms in every Michigan household in order to protect children from tragic injury or death,” said Sen. Chang.
“Secure storage practices play a vital role in reducing the risk of gun violence,” said Andrew Karwoski, a policy expert at Everytown for Gun Safety. “Twenty-one different states and the District of Columbia have passed some form of secure storage legislation. Policies that require individuals to store firearms securely will protect both children and adults by preventing unintentional shootings and gun suicides. This bill will address the current gap in Michigan law, and take steps to better protect communities from the threat of gun violence.”
A policy one-pager can be found here.