Michigan Representative Hopes to Pass New Gun ‘Lock Up Law’
After a string of tragic incidents in involving children and guns that were not properly stored at home, a Michigan representative is backing two new bills to encourage gun owners to lock them up.
It's something that has been occurring for far too many years. A child will be playing, will come across a gun that hasn't been properly locked up or stored, and, inevitably, an accident occurs injuring either that child or someone else. In fact, in the last week there have been multiple incidents of this nature in Michigan alone. A toddler accidentally shot a 5 year old in Detroit, a 4 year old accidentally shot himself (he survived and is in stable condition), and a 3 year old boy in Owosso who, unfortunately, did not survive his injuries.
As reported by Detroit Free Press, two new bills, being introduced by Democratic Rep. John Cherry, will work to prevent these tragedies. Cherry, a father, an avid hunter and Flint resident, wants to assure hunters that these bills won't infringe on their rights. Instead, the bills will call for gun owners to
keep firearms in a locked box or container or in a location that a reasonable person would say is secure which could be a locked room. Alternatively, the owner can attach a trigger lock
Other states have adopted similar laws that have proven to be affective.
In a major study out of the University of Michigan it was found that states with laws on gun storage in homes with children there was a 13% reduction in fatalities of children under 15 years old. The number is even higher in states with stricter laws.
With that being said, Cherry has said that his bills are on the lenient side. Michiganders won't be required to use gun safes or gun locks. Instead, this is to get the attention of gun owners that are also parents and to raise awareness about prevention. In a quote from Cherry he said,
If gun owners know they could be charged when a tragedy occurs, they’ll be more likely to take preventive steps, especially if reminded of the law when they purchase a firearm.
Some may oppose these bills citing the Second Amendment, the need to be ready to face an attacker should the need arise, and that telling people to lock up their guns is unconstitutional. However, in the case of a toddler that fatally shot his 5 year old cousin, two adults were home at the time. Accidents happen. Tragedies happen. But, they have the potential to be prevented. Hence, these two bills being introduced by Cherry.
For those wanting to acquire gun locks, check with your local police department. As I've discovered this morning, many across the state have events where they give them away for free.
These bills have gained a bit of momentum but have yet to be introduced. No word on when that will officially happen.