Storage bill a litigation and laundering scheme in disguise

Photo Courtesy of the National Shooting Sports Foundation

So-called “safe storage” of firearms is a serious matter, however it’s been greatly politicized. The term “safe storage” needs to be replaced by the more applicable term “responsible storage. Trying to cram the individual storage needs of every American into a statutory definition is impossible. What gun owners know and somehow escapes the anti-freedom caucus, the storing of a firearm might be “safe” in one home or location, but not necessarily “safe” in another. Just like the ignorant and obtuse opinions of our congresscritters who trend left of center are varied, so are the needs of gun owners. There’s no one size fits all solution to the storage debate.

On February 8, 2022 Congressman Andy Levin from Michigan introduced a new so-called “safe storage” bill, but in reality it seems to be a cloaked effort to open the doors for litigation against gun owners, and create a grant program to siphon funds into schools that subscribe to the pinko “shall always be locked up” mentality. On H.R.6639 – Protect Children Through Safe Gun Ownership Act:

Congressman Andy Levin (MI-09), member of the House Education and Labor Committee and the Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, today unveiled his Protect Children Through Safe Gun Ownership Act. As many as 4.6 million children live in homes with at least one loaded and unsecured firearm. Children finding easy access to firearms contribute to preventable tragedies, such as school shootings, youth suicides and unintentional shooting deaths among children. Firearms are the leading cause of death among children and teens according to Everytown for Gun Safety.

The bill includes three main provisions to protect children from unsecured firearms: limitation on the transfer and use of handgun by minors, a new gun storage requirement and robust funding for the Department of Education to create a grant program centered around gun safety and safe storage education for parents and children.

The claim that “Firearms are the leading cause of death among children and teens” is a so-called statistic that needs to be buried and put to rest. Even on Everytown’s page noting this misleading “statistic” they say this includes “children” up to the age of 19. Without going too far into to weeds, it’s difficult not to when we’re being fed so many lies all the time, let’s look at another statistic.

Demographic studies of gangs cited by Howell show that the typical age range for a gang is 12–24 with the average age of gang members 17–18 years old.

Conveniently the statistic includes “children” that fall into the average age demographic of gang members.

What’s Levin’s bill actually do? It requires that firearms shall be stored via a “secure gun storage or safety device” if not on the person of the owner. It also opens up the doors for litigation. How litigation has anything but an effect in the aftermath of an event can be posed to serve as an actual deterrent it beyond me. Levin almost acts like because some people won’t follow the law, they’ll certainly be afraid of litigation?

Another section of the bill includes a provision that:

It shall be unlawful for any parent or guardian to provide written consent under paragraph (3) unless the parent or guardian has actual knowledge that the possession or use of the handgun by the juvenile will be in the presence and under the active supervision of the transferor or another adult who is not prohibited by Federal, State, or local law from possessing a firearm.

The actual impetus of that section of the bill is not really known nor can it be fully rationalized. Like most things in the world, permission to do “things” in general, is granted in good faith. How an adult is to have “actual knowledge” falls into the stranger than fiction world of Minority Report ideologies.

The other area that’s worth exploring is the third portion of the rollout, the grant program. From the bill:

(a) In General.—From the amounts made available to carry out this Act, the Secretary of Education shall award grants, on a competitive basis, to eligible local educational agencies to provide parents with educational materials on gun safety and the importance and necessity of secure gun storage.

(b) Application.—To be eligible to receive a grant under this section, an eligible local educational agency shall submit to the Secretary an application at such time, in such manner, and containing such information as the Secretary may require.

(c) Authorized Uses Of Funds.—In addition to using a grant received under this section for the purposes described in subsection (a), an eligible local educational agency may use such grant to—

(1) provide educational materials on gun safety for parents, including best practices on how to keep guns secure from children;

(2) conduct information sessions on gun safety that are publicly accessible; or

(3) hire or assign an individual to monitor the activities carried out under the grant.

A grant program is something I could get behind, 100%. However, we all know that the devil is in the details. These grants are not going to be issued out to Bob’s Firearms Academy, state run gun rights organizations, grassroots groups, USCCA instructors, NRA instructors, and so on and so forth. No, the people actually qualified and experienced in educating on the topic would be cut out of the equation. The grants would apply only to a “eligible local educational agency”, which is defined as:

The term “local educational agency” means a public board of education or other public authority legally constituted within a State for either administrative control or direction of, or to perform a service function for, public elementary schools or secondary schools in a city, county, township, school district, or other political subdivision of a State, or of or for a combination of school districts or counties that is recognized in a State as an administrative agency for its public elementary schools or secondary schools.

Levin and the ilk of anti-freedom caucus members who were high fiving each other in the press release are misguided and purposefully misrepresenting reality. They do get points for using the term “commonsense” eight times in the press release. Kudos! for you for getting that number on the gun grabbing BINGO card.

Like every storage provision bill in existence, should this proposal become law, it will not contribute to the public safety in any way or manner. This would just give more charges to be pressed on those that are negligent and open the door wider for litigation. It also states we’re essentially supposed to be clairvoyant. We’ll be watching the progress of this bill and report back if there are any updates.