Democrats Push National Safe Storage Bill in U.S. Congress

Sen. Richard Blumenthal is one of the lawmakers pushing the legislation (Photo: Sen. Blumenthal Facebook)

As part of the slate of anti-gun legislation making its way through the U.S. Congress, Democrats are pushing a bill that would criminalize gun owners for storing their firearms in a location not deemed “secure.”

Citing debunked statistics about the number of “children” killed or injured with unsecured firearms, the parents of a minor who accidentally shot himself with a firearm owned by the father of his friend pleaded with lawmakers to pass “Ethan’s Law.”

“The goal of Ethan’s Law is simple,” Kristin Song said during a video press conference. “It’s to create a cultural shift where it becomes second nature for gun owners to secure their weapons when they’re not in their immediate control — the same type of cultural shift that we’ve seen with car seats, with seat belts, with smoke detectors.”

She added, “Don’t do it for me. Don’t’ do it for Ethan. Do it for your children. Do it for your grandchildren.”

Song is the mother of Ethan Song, a 15-year-old Connecticut high school student who shot himself with a .357 Magnum owned by the father of his friend. The father, Dan Markle, was not charged under Connecticut’s safe storage law because there was no proof that he stored the weapon in a loaded state, according to the Hartford Courant.

SEE ALSO: Judge Says Edmonds, WA ‘Safe Storage’ Rule Violates Preemption Law in SAF/NRA Suit

Markle kept his firearms secured with gun locks in a plastic container in his bedroom closet, but keys to the locks and ammunition also were in the container, police said.

Song blasted Markle during a 2018 press conference shortly after the incident.

“What parent in his right mind would store his guns with the keys in the same container when they know teenage boys are in the house?” she said. “Know this. I would have traded places with Ethan in a second if that meant he could live. That is what a parent looks like. Dan, I hope when you close your eyes at night that you see Ethan’s face, but not the beautiful one that it once was but the face after he was shot.”

Ethan’s law would criminalize gun owners who know or reasonably should know that a minor or prohibited person is likely to gain access to the firearms. Gun owners are exempt from the law if they store their firearms under one of three conditions:

  1. Using a secure gun storage or safety device
  2. In a location which a reasonable person would believe to be secure
  3. Carries the firearm on his or her person or within such close proximity thereto that the person can readily retrieve and use the firearm as if the person carried the firearm on his or her person.

The legislation does not define “secure gun storage of safety device,” nor does it explain how a “reasonable person” can know whether a location is “secure.”

SEE ALSO: Kids and Guns: Important Tips for Safe Storage

Violators will be subject to a $500 fine. If a minor or prohibited person causes injury or death with the gun owner’s firearm, the gun owner could face up to 5 years in prison.

The Songs and others who promote safe storage mandates cite statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and claim that eight children per day are unintentionally killed or injured with unsecured firearms in the United States.

The media parrot these statistics without verifying them. As GunsAmerica reported in 2018, anti-gun lobbyists include 18 and 19-year-old adults to reach the eight “children” per day threshold. If only minors are included (age 0-17), the number is closer to four. If only small children who might not know better are included (ages 0-10), the number is closer to one. For perspective, about 1.3 children unintentionally drown each day in the United States.

None of this is stopping the Songs and their allies in Congress from their crusade. As Michael Song, Ethan’s father, explained, keeping guns stored “safely” is a “beautiful thing.”

“Our friends who own guns are in favor of Ethan’s Law, virtually all of them,” Michael Song said. “And they are because they know that their kids also play in other people’s homes. … You can secure your gun and do a beautiful thing for you and your family.”

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About the author: Jordan Michaels has been reviewing firearm-related products for over four years and enjoying them for much longer. With family in Canada, he’s seen first hand how quickly the right to self-defense can be stripped from law-abiding citizens. He escaped that statist paradise at a young age, married a sixth-generation Texan, and currently lives in Waco. Follow him on Instagram @bornforgoodluck and email him at jordan@gunsamerica.com.

{ 36 comments… add one }
  • PB- dave February 14, 2021, 11:58 am

    I see an opportunity for a ground floor business….. frame- mounted entry doors constructed similar to a vault door. one in front, one in back and the whole house could be a vaunt….. or one on an upper floor or hallway would make a secure wing ? Would sure make 1st responders (or 1st offenders) take notice when the battering ram bounces back and takes a couple to the ground.

  • pjw February 13, 2021, 1:54 pm

    I don’t endorse any “safe storage” firearms
    legislation.If any such legislation were to become law, I will have no children allowed
    over the threshold of my home. So that means no liberals and or politicians pass into my home.

  • Fee February 13, 2021, 4:23 am

    When I was in elementary school during the 1960’s, one of the biggest killer of young kids was house fires caused by kids playing with a book of matches. We did not lock up matches because it was part of household items. We actually have a local fireman come into elementary school each year and teach kids not to play with matches. They would demo how fast fires can start and spread. We all got a plastic fire helmet at the end of the safety briefing. Today playing with matches and causing home fires is very rare. We can do the same with loaded guns and gun safety.

  • Stephen February 12, 2021, 9:00 pm

    This is just the first step, one that is easy to swallow. The next step is securing guns off premise like a gun club. The next step is obvious, confiscation. Do not swallow the first step.

  • Leigh February 12, 2021, 5:24 pm

    Is your home not considered secure when you lock it?
    I can understand if you have young kids at home…or visitors…then put them in a secure place WITHIN your home. Especially if you are not at home.
    Suicide? Your body your choice…right? Or does that ONLY apply to abortions?
    If not a gun…bleach and ammonia…prescription drugs…OTC drugs…knives…rope…pool…etc etc etc
    How much of a nanny state do we need?

  • michael February 12, 2021, 4:04 pm

    Here’s an idea raise your kids not to touch shit that isn’t theirs. Not my job to educate your kids. How about letting parents correct their children again ? And Govt worry about ensuring you are NOT stepping on my rights with NO kids at 52. Yes I made that Responsible choice. I will store my property on my property as I see fit.

  • Vlad Tepes February 12, 2021, 2:13 pm

    Obviously your not a product of higher education. Psychologists have proved that full maturity in children is not fully developed and attained until they are 25 years old. Horseplay by children with loaded guns accounts for hundreds of deaths each year and thousands of cripplings for life. Read my above post on why I fully support this legislation.

    • Vlad Tepes February 12, 2021, 2:14 pm

      Sorry for the misuse of “Your” instead of “You Are” but this forum does not allow one to go back and correct misspellings or even delete ones post.

    • michael February 12, 2021, 4:12 pm

      Sorry sh!t for brains. NOT MY PROBLEM ! I live alone & will keep my property the way I choose. Raise your damn kids right. Teach them not to touch things that isn’t theirs. This LACK of PARENTING isn’t my problem. I’m so Fing tired of A holes that think Govt should decide how my life should be run because you suck as a PARENT. Bad enough I have to pay for the worthless education they receive.

    • Leigh February 12, 2021, 5:26 pm

      And yet we let them vote…procreate…and DRIVE??? And they want to drop the voting age to 16? Bwahahaha!

  • Vlad Tepes February 12, 2021, 2:08 pm

    Most gun owners will support this bill hands down because 1,300 children on average are shot and killed each year because of irresponsible parents who leave guns laying around the house loaded. The ones that are crippled for life amount to almost 3 times the 1,300 killed number. I might add many times the children killed are children who came over to play in houses that have loaded guns laying around the house.

    ACTUAL QUOTE FROM A PARAMEDIC: “I have been able to save children that attempted suicide or had and accident that resulted in being drowned, hanged themselves or took drug overdoses but I was never able to save a child that blew his brains out with an unattended loaded gun.”

    Every civilized nation on earth has such common sense laws and they are long overdue in the U.S. and sane people do not oppose such common sense gun laws.

    Lets cut through the Far Right nonsense and propaganda. If you fell threatened you can carry a loaded gun on your person and even if it is in a locked safe or has a trigger lock on it the gun is accessible in less than a second with most devices so the argument that you will not have a gun when you need it is just more paranoia from mentally ill Far Right People. I have used safety locks and gun safes for years so no Far Right paranoid Propaganda will cut any ice with me.

    • michael February 12, 2021, 4:17 pm

      Like I should care what your opinion is why ? You’re so damned concerned get to the cities & stop these thugs from shooting each other. Then maybe I will listen to you on how & where I need to keep my property. Not everyone lives in your bubble.

  • Michael February 12, 2021, 2:05 pm

    The Songs failed in their parental responsibilities to their teenage son. They could have been more inquisitive regarding their children’s friends and whether those parents had firearms (or were drug users or whatever). Parenting is a full-time job and it’s tough. I know. My wife and I raised five children to responsible adulthood. One of our lessons was about firearms and what to do if they ever found one or anyone they happened to be around found one or began playing with a firearm.
    And Blumenthal is one of the worst of all the lying, conniving, pieces of crap currently roaming the halls of our “govern”ment. A curse on that POS.

    • MT February 12, 2021, 7:41 pm

      AMEN

  • Gerard Bessenaire February 12, 2021, 1:42 pm

    Da Nang Dick learned his security skills and feels a need to enforce them on others. The parents of that child failed him when they didn’t teach him to respect firearms. Another tragic story could have been avoided. Sad.

  • Donald R Deutsch February 12, 2021, 12:56 pm

    Molan Labe

  • allblues February 12, 2021, 12:42 pm

    I would invite fake Vietnam veteran Blumenthal to point out where the Constitution gives the feral government any power whatsoever in deciding how a private citizen stores his Constitutionally protected property.

  • John February 12, 2021, 12:36 pm

    If she had taught her son about guns and how to use them he would still be alive today. Don’t blame someone else for your poor parenting skills. Just like a liberal blame some else for your short comings.

  • Paul Hillar February 12, 2021, 12:02 pm

    Absolutely correct!

  • Paul Hillar February 12, 2021, 12:02 pm

    Bloomingidiot and all the rest of the commie left, need to shrivel up and blow away. How I store my firearms is of no ones business, especially the govt. Do I have a safe, yes, do I keep every firearm I own in it, NO! Everyone’s situation is different and therefore must be applied according to his or her own situation. It always amazes me that they make these bs laws and tell us “we” will come and take them away for failure to comply, yet the “we” people won’t do sh t, they will always send someone else to do the dirty work, because they know what would happen should they show up at someone’s door demanding the forfeiture of firearms, and it wouldn’t be pretty!

  • Stephen February 12, 2021, 11:57 am

    How bout a law that keeps stupid out of political office? God knows there are plenty of those in politics!

  • Michael J February 12, 2021, 11:46 am

    Why not a law to teach and instruct?

  • Johnwg February 12, 2021, 11:03 am

    FYI that is almost exactly how the legislation here in Canada reads, good luck.

  • Johne February 12, 2021, 9:41 am

    It makes sense for a gun owner to safelty store their firearms. It makes no sense for the goverment to get involved. Lets face some simple facts. If this is passed it will change nothing on gun storage. People may lock up the guns they don’t use often such as a hunting rifle but the guns they have for home protection will remain accessable. No gun locked up will be of any use when someone breaks into your home.

    The true answer will never be brought up by they left because they want the public to be as stupid as they can be. Knowledge hurts the left. If you want your kids to be safe then teach them gun saftey. You would save more lives teaching gun saftey then requiring someone to lock up guns in their own home.

    The other possiblity on people breaking into houses ans stealing guns would be to actually catch try and convict dangerous criminals and senstence them to long term sentences. This will never happen as the left wants catch and release on all armed criminal actions.

    • Paul Hillar February 12, 2021, 11:50 am

      Absolutely correct!

    • Vlad Tepes February 12, 2021, 2:10 pm

      Read my above post which refutes everything you have just posted.

      • michael February 12, 2021, 4:24 pm

        And who are you ? Why don’t you take that post & shove it up your ass ? Something you’re probably familiar with.

      • Derek Isabelle February 12, 2021, 5:33 pm

        You seem to have missed something quite important in your comment you seem rather proud of.
        Explain where you believe that the Federal Government has the Constitutional authority to regulate the storage of personal property?…or do you simply view the Constitution as an obstacle to be overcome?
        Go ahead, tell me how IMPORTANT this is because “DEAD CHILDREN!!!”
        Hey, if you don’t take teaching your children about firearm safety seriously, and your kid gets hurt, that is on YOU, not me.
        When I was in grade school (1977), firearm safety was a class we all took. The school had a shooting range just beyond the football field. The best shots were offered a spot on the rifle team, which competed against the rifle teams of other local schools. This was in a state that is now, lets just say, “unfriendly” to gun owners.
        Perhaps it is time to go back to teaching firearm safety in the schools again. Start it at the 5th or 6th grade, and repeat it every year until graduation. THAT would serve to “PROTECT THE CHILDREN!!!”
        Of course, people that would rather abdicate their personal responsibility would be screaming if that was proposed on a national level. You know the type…..just like you.

      • Nathan Bierly February 13, 2021, 11:50 am

        Your post above does not refute this. I have guns in my home, and I have four kids aged 6 to 14. They all know not to play with my guns because I taught them from a young age. How many kids died from accidental fire 200 years ago, 100 years ago, etc? When kids are around guns, are taught gun safety, and a healthy respect for the tool a gun is then there is no problem. A child doesn’t pick up a hammer and start beating his brains out because it has become a non item. He doesn’t care. Likewise my children think my guns are cool but they don’t go in my room and pick them up and start playing with them because they know from a young age that they are a tool and not a toy. They have plenty of toy nerf guns that they would rather shoot at each other and they know the guns are for the range, simple as that. “Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it (Prov 22:6.” More returning to the Bible, belief in God, and common sense would go a lot farther towards true freedom and less violence than trying to legislate morality. But this is missed by many in government, hence we are where we are.

  • DavidInCO February 12, 2021, 8:48 am

    Awesome. Another idiotic law that is unenforceable and that will make criminals out of otherwise law abiding citizens. The next logical step is the use this law to execute red flag laws on individuals in toxic mix of misguided, gun grabbing BS.

  • Orville Clift February 12, 2021, 8:09 am

    Song is wrong. Life is not risk free and freedom is not free. I oppose this legislation and all similar ideas. God bless these United States and our Constitution.

  • Robert Frasconi February 12, 2021, 8:08 am

    A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.

    How I keep my arms is not to be infringed by the government.

    Blumenthal and his ilk must be arrested and charged under the following:

    18 U.S. Code § 242 – Deprivation of rights under color of law.

    Whoever, under color of any law, statute, ordinance, regulation, or custom, willfully subjects any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured or protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or to different punishments, pains, or penalties, on account of such person being an alien, or by reason of his color, or race, than are prescribed for the punishment of citizens, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both; and if bodily injury results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include the use, attempted use, or threatened use of a dangerous weapon, explosives, or fire, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and if death results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill, shall be fined under this title, or imprisoned for any term of years or for life, or both, or may be sentenced to death.

    (June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 696; Pub. L. 90–284, title I, § 103(b), Apr. 11, 1968, 82 Stat. 75; Pub. L. 100–690, title VII, § 7019, Nov. 18, 1988, 102 Stat. 4396; Pub. L. 103–322, title VI, § 60006(b), title XXXII, §§ 320103(b), 320201(b), title XXXIII, § 330016(1)(H), Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 1970, 2109, 2113, 2147; Pub. L. 104–294, title VI, §§ 604(b)(14)(B), 607(a), Oct. 11, 1996, 110 Stat. 3507, 3511.)

  • Lon James Loren February 12, 2021, 8:07 am

    Don’t give the Anti Gun Crowd an inch. They are many gun laws on the books
    You enforce the laws that are already on the books. Many states have laws on the books that cover children in a home where fire arms are present. We don’t need redundancy. You leave it up to the Anti Gun Crowd you’ll Need a Mosler bank vault with a time lock with an electronic surveillance system hooked up to a security company. Children should be taught what guns are all about an soon as the child can reason. Like most of us that were taught early responsible gun handling start with a responsible adult with a BB Gun. Eight years old is usually the right time to start. By twelve years old if the kid learns respect for fire arms a twenty two rifle with supervised use is in order. Proper education is key. Gun safety in no accident. It would great if there was no more armed conflicts and are kids have to go into harms way to defend our country. The kids who start shooting and hunting at a younger age have a grater chance of survival.

  • Jesse Scott February 12, 2021, 7:52 am

    My parents educated me. I didn’t kill myself and grew to be a responsible gun owner. No nanny state needed.

  • Bill February 12, 2021, 5:47 am

    We don’t know it the teenager was depressed or curious, trained or untrained with the pistol. Trying to irotect a teen from himself is doomed to failure. If the teen is set on suicide, he will find a way! So sad!

  • Dr Motown February 11, 2021, 3:05 pm

    Nobody’s responsible for the stupidity of a 15yo but the teenager himself. Sounds like the parents did a poor job of firearms education and safety teaching

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