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CT proposes unloaded gun storage requirements and other gun bans in new bill

A handgun and a gun safe. (Tech. Sgt. Thomas Dow/U.S. Air Force)
December 03, 2018

In the forthcoming legislative assembly, it is expected that one of the gun reform bills will include a Connecticut firearm storage law.

Connecticut Against Gun Violence Executive Director Jeremy Stein said, “What we should be looking at is the number of gun deaths … because we have among the strictest gun laws, we also have among the lowest gun deaths. They are linked,” according to CT Post.

Connecticut already has the third toughest gun laws in the U.S. On Tuesday, Democrat State Rep. Sean Scanlon announced Ethan’s Law, which aims to stiffen how firearms are stored across Connecticut.

He made the announcement with Ethan Song’s parents, Mike and Kristen Song, whose 15-year-old son accidentally shot and killed himself last January while visiting a friend, according to U.S. News & World Report.

The current law in place in Connecticut requires proper storage for loaded guns in the same home as a minor who could gain possession of them.

The new law would mandate that all guns — unloaded or not — be stored appropriately.

The law also seeks to increase the age from 16 to 18 regarding who is considered a minor in respect to this law.

In Ethan Song’s case, no one was charged because, under Connecticut law, evidence could not prove whether or not the gun was loaded, according to Waterbury State’s Attorney Maureen Platt’s report.

The report said, “There is no evidence that the gun used was loaded at the time it was stored within the closet. However, ammunition for the gun was located within the same small cardboard box next to the weapon used, inside of the Tupperware container.”

Scanlon said, “I think there is a very, very large loophole in the current law, which is why this man is not being charged in this incident. It would bring us more in line with a common-sense approach to tackling gun violence and keeping communities safe.”

Po Murray, chairwoman of the Newtown Action Alliance said, “We must ban 3D-printed guns and ghost guns—I hope we can pass those laws in the next legislative session.”

Connecticut Against Gun Violence is also exploring ways to tighten Connecticut’s “red flag law,” a law that allows certain individuals to file an “extreme risk protection order” with the court to remove guns from an “at risk” person.

Connecticut law prohibits family members from filing such an order. Other states don’t have that restriction.

Scott Wilson, president of the Connecticut Citizens Defense League said this will be a topic of discussion.

In May, Connecticut banned the sale and possession of bump stocks, along with other devices such as trigger cranks and other enhancements that affect the ease and rate of fire.