HB20-1355 (Duran & Mullica/Bridges & Hansen) Secure Storage Of Firearms
This bill would make it a Class 2 misdemeanor to store a firearm in a way that the firearm owner knows or should know would allow a juvenile to access the firearm without permission from the juvenile’s parent or guardian. It would require licensed firearms dealers to provide a locking device at the time of sale of a firearm. The bill would also require the Department of Public Health and Environment to create a public education campaign about safe firearm storage.
The Children’s Campaign supports this bill because this policy supports child and maternal health. Gun injuries are the second leading cause of death for children in the United States, and the U.S. has the highest rate of gun-related injuries in children among industrialized countries. Among youth and young adults ages 10 to 24 in Colorado, suicide is the leading cause of death, and youth suicide attempts by firearm are almost always fatal. Nationally, more than half of youth who commit suicide using a gun obtained that gun from their home. Nationally, in homes with guns, 75 percent of children between ages five and 14 know where guns are kept and 22 percent have handled a gun in their home without their parents’ knowledge. Suicide (along with accidental overdose) accounted for the largest percentage of maternal deaths in Colorado between 2004 and 2012. Guns are a factor in maternal mortality through both suicide and homicide.
A recent study from the American Academy of Pediatrics found that states with stricter gun laws have lower rates of gun-related pediatric deaths. The AAP study also supports taking a data-driven, public health approach to gun safety policy as a way to reduce gun injuries in children, similar to the way in which policies that address other public health hazards, like motor vehicle accidents, result in lower injury rates. Research indicates that certain gun safety policies, such as child access protection laws, are associated with reductions in unintentional firearm injuries and deaths and firearm self-injuries and firearm suicides among children.
Introduced in the House and assigned to the House State, Veterans, and Military Affairs Committee