February 02, 2023

Duckworth, Durbin Join Congressional Colleagues to Reintroduce Safe Firearm Storage Legislation


[WASHINGTON, DC]—U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) joined U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Chris Murphy (D-CT) and U.S. Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT-03) to reintroduce Ethan’s Law, legislation that would ensure gun owners safely and securely store their firearms. Named in honor of Ethan Song, a teenager from Guilford, Connecticut, who was tragically killed in 2018 by an unsecured gun in a neighbor’s home, the bill would create federal requirements for safe gun storage and establish strong penalties for any violations. With loaded and unlocked guns in the homes of an estimated 4.6 million American minors and killing or injuring eight children or teens every day, Ethan’s Law would reduce access to these unsupervised firearms often used in suicides, school shootings and other acts of violence.

“It’s just common sense that firearms should be stored safely to prevent them from ending up in the wrong hands—or in the hands of children,” said Senator Duckworth. “I'm glad the bipartisan Safer Communities Act was signed into law last year to help curb gun violence, but there’s still work to be done on this issue. I'm proud to join my colleagues in reintroducing Ethan’s Law which would help keep Americans safe by ensuring firearms are safely and securely stored.”

“Too many families and friends have mourned a loved one lost to gun violence. Safe storage of weapons saves lives,” said Senator Durbin. “Ethan’s Law would help ensure that firearms are safely stored, away from children who have far too often died or suffered terrible injuries because of an unsecured, accessible gun. We can prevent these tragedies by instituting common sense, safe storage requirements.”

“No one should have to face the unimaginable grief of losing a loved one because of an unsecured firearm. Under Ethan’s Law, responsible safe storage requirements will help prevent these senseless, unnecessary deaths and protect the thousands of children living in homes with unsecured guns,” said Senator Blumenthal. “Through their tireless work, Kristin and Mike Song have been the face of courage and resilience – turning their grief into action. Their advocacy has saved lives across Connecticut, and passing this legislation will save lives across the country.”

“It’s simple – safe gun storage saves lives. I’m grateful to the Song family, who have turned unimaginable tragedy into advocacy. I’m proud to join Senator Blumenthal and Congresswoman DeLauro in reintroducing this important legislation. Connecticut has already proven that Ethan’s Law will protect more kids from unsecured firearms, and Congress should follow suit,” said Senator Murphy.

“If this commonsense safety measure had been in place, Ethan Song’s needless death could have been prevented,” said Representative DeLauro. “In fact, the lives of thousands could be saved. There is no reason a child should be able to easily access a deadly weapon. Last Congress, we passed Ethan’s Law in the House of Representatives for the first time, and on a bipartisan basis. Congress must act, and once more pass Ethan’s Law to protect our children and families from senseless violence. I thank Kristin and Mike Song for leading the movement to protect our children, and for turning great personal loss into a drive to prevent similar tragedies for other families. We will keep fighting until Ethan’s Law is the law of the land.”

Under Ethan’s Law, gun owners would be required to secure their firearms in a “secure gun storage or safety device” if a minor is likely to gain access to the firearm without permission, or if a resident of the dwelling cannot legally possess a firearm under existing law. The bill also includes incentives for states to pass and enforce their own safe gun storage laws.

In the Senate, the legislation is also cosponsored by U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Bob Casey (D-PA), Chris Coons (D-DE), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Mark Kelly (D-AZ), Angus King (I-ME), Ben Ray Luján (D-NM), Edward J. Markey (D-MA), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Patty Murray (D-WA), Alex Padilla (D-CA), Jack Reed (D-RI), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Peter Welch (D-VT), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Ron Wyden (D-OR). In the House, the legislation is cosponsored by over 156 members.

Ethan’s Law is also endorsed by over 160 gun violence prevention and law enforcement advocacy groups, including the Newtown Action Alliance, Giffords, Everytown for Gun Safety, Brady: United Against Gun Violence, the Major Cities Chiefs Association, Sandy Hook Promise and March For Our Lives.  

The text of the Senate legislation can be found here. A one-pager on Ethan’s Law is available here