WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Madeleine Dean (PA-04) reintroduced the Protect Children Through Safe Gun Ownership Act, which would prevent child-involved gun violence. The legislation would require active supervision for a minor to possess a firearm and create requirements and education programs for safe firearm storage. Former Congressman Andy Levin (MI-11) previously introduced this bill, and Congresswoman Dean co-sponsored, in the last Congress.
"Every single day in the United States, eight children and teens are unintentionally shot in instances of improperly stored or misused firearms found in the home—this statistic is both terrifying and preventable,” Rep. Dean said. “Data shows that unsafe storage and unsupervised firearm use is an enormous danger to our children. I’m thankful to former Congressman Levin for introducing the Protect Children Through Safe Gun Ownership Act last Congress to combat this danger, and I will continue to advocate for it so that we can better protect children and save lives.”
This legislation has also been endorsed by GIFFORDS, an organization led by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords that is working tirelessly to end the gun violence epidemic.
"Gun violence is the leading cause of death for children in the United States. An entire generation is being lost to gun homicides, gun suicides, and unintentional shootings. These tragedies can be prevented when gun owners securely store their firearms in the home and adults properly supervise minors using firearms. The Protect Children Through Safe Gun Ownership Act would help protect youth from falling victim to gun violence. We applaud Congresswoman Dean for her leadership on this issue." Adzi Vokhiwa, GIFFORDS Federal Affairs Director said.
The Protect Children Through Safe Gun Ownership Act will:
Require Supervision for Juvenile Gun Possession: Currently, parents or guardians may provide written consent for juveniles to possess handguns. This legislation adds an additional requirement so that parents or guardians may only provide such permission if they know that possession or use of the handgun will be under the active supervision of an adult that is legally allowed to possess a firearm themselves.
Require Safe Storage: This bill requires safe storage practices – meaning gun owners must use a secure gun storage or safety device.
Provides Grants for Localities to Educate Parents on Safe Storage Practices: This legislation will award grants through the Secretary of Education to eligible local agencies to provide parents with educational materials on gun safety and the importance and necessity of secure gun storage.
The text of the bill can be found here.
Rep. Madeleine Dean is a mother, grandmother, attorney, professor, former four-term member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, and U.S. Representative for the Fourth District of Pennsylvania.