COLUMBUS – State Rep. Jessica E. Miranda (D-Forest Park), co-founder of the Ohio Gun Violence Prevention Caucus, responded to this week’s news of an accidental fatal shooting of a one year old child in Canton. Initial reports indicate that the one year old child was fatally shot by a three year old child in the household who found an unsecured gun.
“As elected officials, we must ask ourselves: how many of these preventable and unspeakable tragedies will we tolerate before taking meaningful action to prevent further fatalities like the one in Canton?” said Rep. Miranda. “That’s why I’ve put forward legislation to promote safe gun storage practices that would prevent young children from getting their hands on deadly weapons. This latest tragedy is the exact scenario we are seeking to prevent, and I am once again urging my colleagues in the legislature to join me in taking action so this doesn’t happen again.”
Earlier this year, Rep. Miranda introduced House Bill 262, the Child Access Prevention Tax Credit Act with Rep. Brigid Kelly (D-Cincinnati). The bill incentivizes safe gun storage in a household with minors present by not only imposing tougher penalties on parents or guardians who fail to follow safe gun storage practices resulting in a firearm related death or injury, but to also provide a tax credit on the sale of safe gun storage units and locks.
Rep. Miranda has also utilized her platform with the Ohio Gun Violence Prevention Caucus to highlight the need to enact child access prevention laws.
Stricter child access laws exist in many other states, including conservative ones like Kentucky and Texas, and groups like the National Rifle Association have supported safe storage policies. H.B. 262 had one hearing in the Ohio House Ways and Means Committee in May, and has since awaited further action by the committee chair.