Bait And Switch Gun Storage Bill Introduced

Photo Courtesy of the National Shooting Sports Foundation

It’s not every day we can expose ourselves to such grandiose instances of bait and switch. Potentially this is putting the cart before the horse, as the bill text for the proposed legislation is linked to a broken link, but the not so subtle tones are present in the press release. Just a few days ago, Representative A. Donald McEachin (VA-04) introduced a gun storage bill. From the release:

Today, Congressman A. Donald McEachin (VA-04) 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. Finally, the legislation repeals certain provisions of the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act to allow civil actions to be brought against the gun industry.

McEachin does not even try to mask or hold back at all. Right there in the first paragraph following the introduction is the ulterior motives, or perhaps, the main objectives of the bill:

…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. Finally, the legislation repeals certain provisions of the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act to allow civil actions to be brought against the gun industry.

Excuse the redundancy, but the whacked-out paring of safe storage laws and abolishment of the Lawful Commerce in Arms Act needed to be reiterated.

The responsible and safe storage of firearms is a personal topic. Mandates don’t do anything to cause gun owners to be more or less responsible. They just don’t. McEachin needs to ask himself “what are the goals of safe storage laws?” One could answer that question with two good reasons why responsible storage is a good idea:

  1. Keep children and or unauthorized persons from finding a firearm and having an “accident”.
  2. Keep persons from being able to obtain the firearm and steal it/use it in a crime.

In short, to stop accidents and theft. My personal view is the accidents portion is what takes paramount here. A thief will get a firearm from a “secured” storage device if he really wants to get it. Pulling a page from the commie mommies book, do it for the children. Right? What did McEachin have to say?

“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,” said Rep. McEachin (VA-04). “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.”

Has there been a paradigm shift that I missed? This guy is not even mentioning firearm related “accidents” directly. Not at all. Just so-called “gun violence” and of course pushing for the Holy Grail of non-sense, “commonsense policy”. A new stimulus response equating “gun violence” with “improper storage.” What else, the ability to sue people and gun manufactures? This proposed legislation is nothing but a disguised feel-good measure to cripple the firearm industry (and gun owners) via future litigation. The bill text is not available, but I’d love to see how McEachin can connect the dots of firearms being stored improperly being the responsibility of a firearm manufacturer.

The unapologetic drivel continued:

“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.

Even the president of Handgun Control Inc, aka Brady, does not mention how this has anything to do with something important like stopping firearm accidents. Nope, just more so-called “gun violence” and more abilities to sue. Perhaps Brown can illuminate the public at large how this particular bill will “save lives”.

The rest of the release is included for your review. It really should be read in full, so you can gasp the insanity of all of this:

“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 Representative 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.

Rep. McEachin’s 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; and
  • Repeal certain provisions of the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act that prevent the gun industry from being held civilly liable in court.

There is a lot going on with this. The sage words from freedom hating talking heads are there for your review. Perhaps the most interesting thing that popped up was the bullet point involving requiring “safe and responsible storage of firearms…” and then following up with “Incentivize states to implement and enforce gun storage safety laws..”. If they’re requiring safe storage why do they need to incentivize states to implement laws of the same?

Put this legislation on your radar. No, I don’t think it’ll go anywhere nor gain appreciable traction, but what’s important here are the tactics being employed to both usurp freedoms and remove protections for firearm manufactures. So-called safe storage laws won’t necessarily hold Constitutional muster. One of the many issues addressed in Heller was the manner in which the district was forcing people to store their firearms.

Similarly, the requirement that any lawful firearm in the home be disassembled or bound by a trigger lock makes it impossible for citizens to use arms for the core lawful purpose of self-defense and is hence unconstitutional.

We must also address the District’s requirement (as applied to respondent’s handgun) that firearms in the home be rendered and kept inoperable at all times. This makes it impossible for citizens to use them for the core lawful purpose of self-defense and is hence unconstitutional.

Before McEachin introduced his legislation, he should have read up on the Heller decision. Then again, it probably wouldn’t have mattered much to an anti-gun zealot like himself. Thankfully, it’s not up to McEachin alone to decide how 100-million gun owners should store their firearms.