Slotkin to introduce federal bill requiring safe storage of guns around children

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Posted at 9:32 AM, Dec 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-15 10:03:15-05

(WXYZ) — Rep. Elissa Slotkin, who represents Michigan's 8th congressional district that includes Oxford, is introducing a federal bill to require the safe and proper storage of firearms when children and others are around.

The Safe Guns, Safe Kids Act comes after a deadly shooting at Oxford High School on Nov. 30 that left four students dead, and six students and a teacher injured.

The bill will require gun owners to safely secure their firearm when a child could reasonably access it. If a child does access the gun, which they reasonably had access to and uses it to injure themselves or others, or uses it in a crime, the owners of the gun could go to jail for up to five years.

“At church services, vigils and funerals, and visits with parents, teachers, and law enforcement, everyone’s priority is to keep our kids safe – and it’s clear there’s a gap in law that makes it hard to hold parents accountable for aiding their child in committing a crime with a gun," Slotkin said in a statement. “I come from a gun-owning family, and I carried two firearms on my three tours in Iraq with the CIA. There are millions of responsible gun owners in Michigan, including my own dad. This bill will require gun owners to store or lock their firearms when children are present, and will hold them accountable when they fail to do so."

The suspect in the Oxford shooting, Ethan Crumbley, used a gun his parents bought for him in the shooting. He is charged with four counts of murder, one count of terrorism and more in the shooting that killed Justin Shilling, Hana St. Juliana, Madisyn Baldwin and Tate Myre.

His parents, James and Jennifer Crumbley, are also facing four counts of involuntary manslaughter charges each in the case.

Last week, several Michigan legislators introduced bills that aim to prevent future gun violence. They would ban the selling or possessing of a magazine capable of holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition starting on Jan. 1, 2023.

If someone owned the magazine before the effective date, they could keep it if they report the possession to local law enforcement agents.

There would also be exemptions from the law for law enforcement officers, members of the armed forces and those working in an armored car.

Under the proposed bills, a person who violates it could be charged with a misdemeanor on their first offense.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel released the following statement about the Safe Guns, Safe Kids Act:

“This bill is an example of commonsense reform that reinforces responsible gun ownership and firearm safety. I fully support holding accountable anyone who fails to properly store a firearm that is then used by a child to hurt themselves or others. Recognizing that our kids should not have easy access to guns does not infringe on anyone’s right to bear arms – it properly acknowledges the responsibility that comes with that right. We must prioritize our kids over guns. Their futures depend on it."