Noting that safe storage of a firearm is a way to prevent future events involving guns, Rep. Sean Lynn, D-Dover North, introduced legislation Feb. 28 that would emphasize firearm safety and proper storage.
Under House Bill 63, a firearm owner would be required to keep their firearm properly stored so that a minor or a person prohibited by law cannot access the weapon. If a person intentionally or recklessly leaves a loaded firearm where a minor or other “unauthorized person” accesses the firearm, they would be charged with unsafe storage of a firearm.
“The vast majority of people who own firearms are responsible and take every precaution with their guns. This bill will not affect the vast majority of responsible gun owners who properly store their weapons and keep them out of reach of those who legally should not have access to them,” said Lynn. “It is aimed at the person who does not take proper precautions with their firearm and is designed to address situations where loaded firearms are readily available for a child or prohibited person to access the weapon.”
“A responsible gun owner should never have a problem complying with this bill, and I would hope that advocates and groups that espouse firearm safety above all else join me in supporting this reasonable, responsible solution,” said Lynn.
Lynn noted the bill mirrors the NRA website’s Gun Safety Rules page, which includes items such as “always keep the gun unloaded until ready to use” and “store guns so they are not accessible to unauthorized persons.”
The site also includes this warning: “Dozens of gun storage devices, as well as locking devices that attach directly to the gun, are available. However, mechanical locking devices, like the mechanical safeties built into guns, can fail and should not be used as a substitute for safe gun handling and the observance of all gun-safety rules.”
HB 63 was assigned to the House Judiciary Committee.