Congressman A. Donald McEachin (D-VA-04) has introduced the Firearm Owners Responsibility and Safety Act to promote safe storage of firearms and reduce gun-related injuries and deaths.
The Firearm Owners Responsibility and Safety Act mandates the use of secure gun storage or safety devices when a firearm is not in use. The bill also promotes the safe storage of firearms through the implementation of a grant program for states to pass and enforce safe storage laws, as well as provide victims and their families with a private right of action to seek damages and relief from individuals who improperly store their firearms.
The legislation also repeals certain provisions of the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act to allow civil actions to be brought against the gun industry.
“The gun violence epidemic is a public health crisis that continues to destroy the lives of families in the Commonwealth and in communities across the nation,” McEachin said. “We must take immediate steps to curb gun violence and advance commonsense policy solutions to help reduce the tragic loss of life. I am proud to introduce the Firearm Owners Responsibility and Safety Act to ensure firearms are properly stored, to empower victims to pursue legal recourse in instances of negligent or improper storage, and to hold gun manufacturers more accountable.”
“The Firearm Owners Responsibility and Safety Act will save lives, tackling gun violence in many forms by promoting safe firearm storage and removing unprecedented protections for the gun industry as well as barriers that prevent effective ATF enforcement of the law. This is a comprehensive, common-sense bill and Brady thanks Rep. McEachin for championing this important issue and introducing this bill; it will save lives,” said Kris Brown, president of Brady.
“For too long, the gun industry has been provided unparalleled civil liability immunity,” said Linda Lipsen, CEO of the American Association for Justice. “Among other commonsense reforms, the Firearm Owners Responsibility and Safety Act rightfully restores the ability of victims to hold manufacturers, distributors, dealers, and importers of firearms or ammunition responsible when negligent sales lead to harm or death. We look forward to working towards passing this important piece of legislation.”
“Every year, thousands of children are injured or killed with firearms. Safe storage of firearms in the home helps prevent unauthorized access to firearms and stop tragic incidents before they ever happen, especially for children. We thank Rep. McEachin for introducing the Firearm Owners Responsibility and Safety Act to encourage more states to pass safe storage laws and urge Congress to pass it swiftly,” said Adzi Vokhiwa, federal affairs director at Giffords.
The Firearm Owners Responsibility and Safety Act would improve gun safety by adopting the following provisions:
- Require the safe and responsible storage of firearms with a secure gun storage or safety device.
- Allow for a private right of action for victims or their families who have suffered injury or death due to an improperly stored firearm to seek damages and relief.
- Incentivize states to implement and enforce gun storage safety laws through the establishment of a grant program.
- Repeal certain provisions of the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act that prevent the gun industry from being held civilly liable in court.
Read the full bill text here.