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Congress Considers National ‘Safe Storage’ Bill

By: Teresa Mull

Late last month, Democrat Congressman A. Donald McEachin (VA-04) introduced the Firearm Owners Responsibility and Safety Act to force gun owners to lock up their guns in their own homes.

“The Firearm Owners Responsibility and Safety Act mandates the use of secure gun storage or safety devices when a firearm is not in use,” McEachin announced in a press release.

Kris Brown, President of the anti-gun Brady group, apparently thinks the only reason crazed killers are able to carry out their heinous crimes is because guns are not secured properly.

“The Firearm Owners Responsibility and Safety Act will save lives, tackling gun violence in many forms by promoting safe firearm storage and removing unprecedented protections for the gun industry as well as barriers that prevent effective ATF enforcement of the law,” Brown said. “This is a comprehensive, common-sense bill and Brady thanks Rep. McEachin for championing this important issue and introducing this bill; it will save lives.”

McEachin’s laws would also:

  • Require the safe and responsible storage of firearms with a secure gun storage or safety device;
  • Allow for a private right of action for victims or their families who have suffered injury or death due to an improperly stored firearm to seek damages and relief;
  • Incentivize states to implement and enforce gun storage safety laws through the establishment of a grant program; and
  • Repeal certain provisions of the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act that prevent the gun industry from being held civilly liable in court.

Anti-gunners shouldn’t pretend this bill will act as a cure for gun violence. Renowned Second Amendment researcher Dr. John Lott has argued previously that firearm storage laws “effectively disarm citizens in a time of urgency.” More concretely, Lott put out a study in the Journal of Law and Economics showing how states with mandatory firearms storage laws saw more than 300 additional murder and approximately 4,000 more rape incidents take place annually.

Clearly, any law that makes it more difficult for law-abiding individuals to use their firearms in encounters with criminals will invariably give the criminals the upper hand. It is in the criminals’ nature to skirt the law, while the law-abiding will even comply with legislation that puts them at a disadvantage in life-or-death situations.

Teresa Mull (teresa@gunpowdermagazine.com) is editor of Gunpowder Magazine.

 
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