A Closer Look at Gun Safety & Child Access Prevention
Over the past decade, the topic of public firearm accessibility has become increasingly popular among society, even reaching more serious platforms in political discussions. In light of more recent events, our nation has felt now is a more appropriate time to discuss firearm accessibility to prevent further tragedies. While political discussions are still entertaining alternatives, certain states across the nation already have some legal protocols established.
As we approach more serious discussions concerning the policies behind our firearms, it’s important to be informed of the laws we currently have in place.
Child Access Prevention Laws
Champion Safe takes pride in participating in child access prevention by providing a secure solution for every home. However, not every home has a Champion or Superior safe, which is why it’s important to support current child access prevention laws.
While there are more descriptions of these laws available for public accessibility online, here is a brief overview of the laws currently in place for child access prevention. The following has been expounded on from The Summary of State Child Access Prevention Laws published and distributed by the United States Senate.
- Criminal Liability when a Child Gains Access as a Result ofNegligent Storage of a Firearm
States imposing this law apply the most serious consequences for those who fail to store a firearm properly. According to The Summary of State Child Access Prevention Laws, this law applies when the owner of the firearm or anyone reasonably knowing that a minor can gain access to a firearm. States participating in this law will charge individuals who fail to store firearms properly and who know or believe that a minor could or will gain access to the improperly stored firearm with criminal charges.
States Abiding By this Law: California, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, NewJersey, North Carolina, Rhode Island, and Texas
- Criminal Liability for Allowing a Child to Gain Access
States imposing this law cover a broad spectrum of consequences, ranging from a minor possibly/likely gaining access to a firearm based on behavior signals to a minor gaining firearm access from improper storage. However, the minor does not have to use or cause damage using the firearm for this law to apply.
States Abiding By this Law: Massachusetts, Minnesota, Hawaii, Maryland, Texas, and New Jersey
- Criminal Liability Only if Child Uses or Possesses the Firearm:
As likely assumed, states abiding by this law only hold the party liable if a minor possesses or uses the firearm. In some states, this law only applies if the minor causes damage, injury or enacts criminal activity while in possession of this firearm.
States Abiding By this Law: California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, New Hampshire, North Carolina and Rhode Island
- Liability for Negligent Storage of Unloaded Firearms:
A handful of states abiding by this law impose criminal charges upon accused parties even if the firearm is unloaded and accessed by a minor.
States Abiding by this Law: Hawaii, Massachusetts and California
- All Firearms be Stored with a Locking Device in Place:
Only two states abiding by this law require all firearms to be stored in a locking device, such as a safe. This law was established to prevent firearms from accidentally discharging and to prevent minors from accessing and using these firearms.
States Abiding by this Law: Massachusetts and Washington D.C.
- Civil Liability on Persons who Fail to Store Firearms Properly: A handful of states abiding by this law impose criminal charges on parents/guardians of a minor, holding them liable for any damages or injuries the minor may have caused from either permitting or accessing and using a firearm. The states enacting this law have varied rules and specifications for the charges that may apply but fall under the same basic principle.
States Abiding by this Law: California, Connecticut, Illinois and Nevada
As you’ve likely noticed, some of the states mentioned above fall into multiple categories, thereby enforcing child access prevention laws on different standards. It’s unclear whether the states participating in multiple child access prevention laws are more effective, but it would seem that the criminal charges in states like California, Texas and Massachusetts would be much steeper.
The severity of these laws reflects the standards many American citizens want to live by. At Champion Safe, we support these laws by designing, creating and distributing safes that meet these standards for protection and prevention all at an affordable price. We know that the cost of prevention is much cheaper than the cost of a tragedy.
With prevention so easily attainable, let us move forward toward a safer future for our nation.
Please access The Summary of Child Access Prevention Laws published and distributed by the United States Senate for further information concerning these legal details.
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