This report provides a series of proposals that state legislators should enact in their states to help protect children from improperly stored firearms. These proposals include:
- Requiring adults to keep guns properly locked up or under their immediate control, whenever they have a reason to know a child is present or might have access to the area;
- Requiring gun dealers to ensure that all gun buyers, including buyers of rifles or shotguns, are provided with a gun lock or other safety device;
- Ensuring that appropriate safety information accompanies the sale or transfer of every gun by a licensed gun dealer;
- Prohibiting adults from allowing children to handle machine guns, even if they are supervised, due to the unusually dangerous nature of these weapons.
This report provides arguments in support of these proposals, along with the legal and factual background for each proposal. It also provides a list of the features that make up a strong law on each topic. Too many families have needlessly suffered the horrific loss of a child due to an unsecured gun. It is our hope that this report will provide a "toolkit" for legislators and advocates who want to move forward to help prevent unintended gun deaths of children.