When it comes to safe storage, irresponsible behavior among gun owners is sadly commonplace. More than half of all gun owners store at least one firearm unsafely—without any locks or other safe storage methods. Nearly five million children live in homes with at least one loaded, unlocked firearm.
That’s why last year CAGV worked to pass two laws to strengthen safe storage requirements, at home and in unsecured vehicles. As the past two weeks have made clear, these laws are needed to serve as a deterrent and to motivate responsible gun storage behavior.
Earlier this month a Stratford man was charged after his Glock was stolen from his unlocked truck. Just this week, an unsecured semi-automatic handgun with ammunition was stolen from the Stamford home of a mother with three young children; she was charged with violating Ethan’s Law. That law requires firearms in homes with children under age 18 to be securely stored whether they’re loaded nor not, spurred by the tragic death two years ago today of Ethan Song. He was unintentionally shot and killed at his friend’s home with the father’s unsecured gun.
This reckless behavior isn’t unusual. Last December a Norwalk police officer was charged with reckless endangerment after two rifles, one of them an AR-15 style assault rifle, were stolen from his unlocked car. They were later found in the possession of a convicted felon.
Unsecured guns do more than put children at risk in their homes. As these cases demonstrate, improperly stored guns get stolen, putting the public at risk, especially on the streets of urban communities.
We’re proud of the work we did together with you and our gun violence prevention allies to promote responsible gun ownership. Very shortly I’ll be sharing with you the details of our legislative agenda for the session that begins next week. Our focus is on combatting community violence and preventing firearm suicide, the two leading causes of gun deaths in Connecticut.
With your continued advocacy, we intend to have as much success this year as we did last year.
Thank you for all you do to keep Connecticut safe from gun violence.