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Reps. Miranda, Kelly urge lawmakers to address safe gun storage during COVID-19 crisis

Say unsecured guns pose risk to children spending more time indoors during stay-at-home order
April 15, 2020
Jessica E. Miranda News

COLUMBUS— State Reps. Jessica E. Miranda (D-Forest Park) and Brigid Kelly (D-Cincinnati) today emphasized the need to address safe gun storage during the COVID-19 pandemic, as unsecured guns pose a significant risk to children spending more time indoors due to the stay-at-home order.

In 2019, Miranda and Kelly introduced House Bill (HB) 240, also known as the “Child Access Prevention Law.” This commonsense gun safety legislation would ensure firearms are stored safely and securely out of reach of minors.

“The need for commonsense Safe Storage laws in Ohio is more pressing than ever,” said Rep. Miranda. “With the alarmingly high number of minors harming themselves with weapons that have been negligently stored in the household before the stay-at-home order, I worry that this issue could get worse as we strive to flatten the curve. HB 240 offers a real opportunity to require adults with minors to appropriately store their firearms and to protect the lives of our children.”

According to the Giffords Law Center, a 2018 study found that 4.6 million American minors live in homes with at least one loaded, unlocked firearm. Every day, 22 children are shot in the U.S., and 3 million children are directly exposed to gun violence each year.

“The COVID-19 virus is not the only threat to our children’s safety right now,” said Rep. Kelly. “With more children staying home due to the pandemic, there is an increased risk for children to access firearms that are not safely stored in their homes. HB 240 is an important step to ensuring that children are safe from accidental firearm injuries or deaths, now and in the future.”

Both Miranda and Kelly emphasized that commonsense gun safety legislation has been a longtime priority for House Democrats. The Child Access Prevention Law received a first hearing by the Ohio House Criminal Justice Committee back in October 2019 and currently awaits further action.