Governor Lamont Signs Gun Safety Bills

May 30, 2019

The increase in gun violence in our nation as well as in our own communities has been frightening.

Connecticut has been at the forefront in enacting sensible laws to defeat gun violence since I led the opening charge 30 years ago. Back then, it was the "Kids and Guns Act," which hold adults criminally responsible for negligently storing a loaded firearm. But sadly we seem to discover time and again more work needs to be done so people can feel safe when they step outside of their homes.

With the start of this year’s legislative session, my Democratic colleagues and I in the House of Representatives worked on new legislation as a result of more tragedies and people determined to harm others.

Three House bills make up the legislation, and I’m thrilled to tell you that they have been passed by strong, bipartisan votes in the House and Senate. The following bills have been signed by Governor Lamont:

  • House Bill 7218, known as Ethan’s Law, requires the safe storage of all firearms in a home with a minor under age 18; the bill also includes firearm safety programs in public schools
  • House Bill 7223 requires the safe storage of pistols and revolvers in motor vehicles.
  • House Bill 7219 bans "ghost guns" – weapons that have no serial numbers and circumvent our background check laws. The bill also regulates guns made on a 3-D printer

For each of these bills there are appalling back stories.

The bill known as Ethan’s Law was written after 15-year-old Ethan Song of Guilford accidentally shot himself last year while he and a friend played with a .357 Magnum that his friend’s father kept inside a Tupperware container stored in a closet.

Each year hundreds of thousands of firearms across the country are stolen from cars and homes and turn up in the hands of criminals. The need for HB 7223 has been demonstrated by tragedies in Connecticut communities. In Hartford a 10-year-old girl was shot and killed with a gun stolen from an unlocked car in Glastonbury. The shots fired at the girl were intended for a relative who was somewhere else at the time.

Ghost Guns and 3D-printed firearms – developed in the past few years – are partially completed weapons that do not meet the federal definition of a firearm and can be sold without background checks or serial numbers to anyone, including felons and people with mental illnesses.

Just the other day Waterbury police arrested a man, accusing him of carrying a loaded 3D-printed firearm in his waistband within 1,500 feet of a school for Jewish children.