Critical news of interest to our readers.

We’re thrilled to report that tonight the Connecticut House of Representatives passed two of our three priority gun bills, reflecting broad constituent support for tough, but common-sense, measures to keep us safe from gun violence. We expect the third bill to get a vote on Wednesday. 

With record-setting bi-partisan support “Ethan’s Law” passed 127-16. HB-7218 requires all firearms, loaded or unloaded, to be securely stored when minors under age 18 are in the home. We are enormously grateful to Kristin and Mike Song for their tireless advocacy for the bill.

Also on a strong bi-partisan vote HB-7219, the bill to ban ghost guns, passed 108-36. 

In a move that may signal a new dynamic in the legislature, those who opposed the bills kept their rhetoric to a minimum. That allowed both bills to be debated and voted on in less than two hours—a marked change from past years. 

What’s next? On Wednesday, May 8, we’re expecting a vote in the House on HB-7223, to prohibit the unsecured storage of handguns in unattended vehicles. Immediately after we’ll turn our attention to getting all three bills called in the Senate. 

We are very pleased to let you know that the four gun safety bills before the Judiciary Committee have been voted favorably out of committee with bipartisan support. This is an important milestone in the legislative process, and a significant accomplishment for gun violence prevention advocates.  

Thank you to all of our supporters who have worked so hard over the past three months by contacting legislators, submitting testimony, attending press conferences and the public hearing. It’s your advocacy that drove today’s success.

The four bills voted out of committee are: H.B. 7218 and H.B. 7223 to strengthen firearm storage requirements, H.B. 7219 to ban ghost guns and S.B. 60 to require individuals openly carrying a firearm to show their permit upon the request of a law enforcement offer.

The priority now is to bring the bills to a vote as quickly as possible. We’ll be coming back to you shortly with a more detailed call to action, but in the meantime if you’re speaking to your state legislators, please ask them to co-sponsor H.B. 7218, H.B. 7223 and H.B. 7219, the focus of our advocacy. You can find your legislators’ contact information here.

Descriptions of each of the bills are below.

H.B. 7218, An Act Concerning the Safe Storage of Firearms in the Home
Expands the conditions under which firearms must be securely stored in the home to include unloaded firearms (currently only loaded firearms are covered) and applies it to homes with minors aged 16 and 17 (currently only 15 and younger).

BENEFIT: Prevents unintentional shootings, firearm suicide by family members other than the gun owner, especially teens (80% of child and teen firearm suicides use a gun belonging to a family member) and school shootings (In 75% of cases, guns used in school shootings came from the shooter’s home or that of a relative).

H.B. 7223, An Act Concerning the Storage of a Pistol or Revolver in a Motor Vehicle
Requires handguns in motor vehicles to be kept in a securely locked safe when the vehicle is unattended.

BENEFIT: Prevents gun theft. Most firearms recovered from crime scenes are stolen.

H.B. 7219, An Act Concerning Ghost Guns
Bans firearms without serial numbers and regulates so-called “ghost guns” (kits that allow assembly of guns at home without requiring a background check and permit) and 3D plastic printed guns the same as Connecticut regulates other firearms.

BENEFIT: Prevents firearms from getting in the hands of dangerous individuals not permitted by law to possess a firearm. Prevents the manufacture of untraceable guns that are sold illegally to other prohibited persons. Prevents the manufacture of guns undetectable by metal detectors.

S.B. 60, An Act Concerning The Presentation Of A Carry Permit. 
Requires individuals openly carrying a firearm in public to show their permit, that they are required to have on their person, upon the request of a law enforcement officer.

BENEFIT: Protects public safety by enabling law enforcement to determine if an individual with a gun visible is legally allowed to carry the firearm in public.

The 2019 legislative session doesn’t commence for another six weeks, but CAGV is already laying the groundwork for advancing our agenda. At the top of the list are strengthening requirements for storing firearms, and regulating “ghost” guns (the DIY kits for assembling guns at home) just the same as we do all other firearms.

Earlier this week our executive director, Jeremy Stein, joined Kristin and Michael Song of Guilford in calling for tightening Connecticut’s child access prevention law that currently pertains only to loaded firearms. Ethan Song, their 15 year old son, was killed earlier this year when he got access to an unsecured handgun and ammunition at a friend’s house.

Ethan’s Law” would close the loopholes in Connecticut’s safe storage law that do not require unloaded firearms to be secured, and don’t require loaded guns to be secured if the children in the home are more than 15 years of age.

Every day in the U.S. eight children are unintentionally shot or killed by an unsecured gun. Households where both firearms and ammunition are securely locked have an 85 percent lower risk of these preventable tragedies. Ethan’s death was not an accident; it was the result of gross negligence on the part of the father who stored his guns in a bedroom closet. Ethan’s Law will help prevent unintentional shootings, suicides and even crime-related gun violence. will send a clear message to irresponsible gun owners: lock up your firearms or be held accountable.

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To learn more, click here to see our CAGV Fact Sheet: The Deadly Dangers of Lax Firearm Storage.

Recognizing CAGV’s leadership and expertise in crafting smart gun laws, governor-elect Ned Lamont appointed Jeremy to his Transition Policy Committee on Public Safety. It’s great to see that our incoming governor believes gun safety regulation should play an important role in policy recommendations to keep our communities safe.

We have an ambitious agenda next year; we’re thankful to have you with us.