Unsafe storage of firearms can have devastating consequences for our communities and our children. The legislature intends by this act to do the following: establish standards for the responsible storage of firearms to reduce accidental gun injury and death of young children gaining access to unsafely stored guns; reduce adolescent suicide; and prevent youth and anyone prohibited from possessing firearms from accessing unsafely stored firearms to cause harm in the community. This bill states that if a person who stores or leaves a firearm in a location where they know, or reasonably should know, that a person who is prohibited from possessing a firearm is likely to gain access to it, is guilty of community endangerment due to unsafe storage in the first degree if a prohibited person obtains access and possession of the firearm and causes personal injury or death with the firearm; or (b) Is guilty of community endangerment due to unsafe storage of a firearm in the second degree if a prohibited person obtains access and possession of the firearm and: (i) Causes the firearm to discharge; (ii) Exhibits the firearm in a public place or in an angry, threatening, or careless manner; or (iii) Uses the firearm in the commission of a crime. The bill includes exceptions, including: if a death or serious injury occurs as a result of an alleged violation of subsection (1)(a) of this section, the prosecuting attorney may decline to prosecute, even though technically sufficient evidence to prosecute exists, in situations where prosecution would serve no public purpose, would defeat the purpose of the law in question, or would result in decreased respect for the law.
This bill also requires a firearms dealer, when selling a firearm, to offer to sell or give the purchaser a locked box, a lock, or a device that prevents the firearm from discharging.