ATLANTA — Today, the Georgia chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots network, released the following statement after testifying in support of HB 161, the Pediatric Health Safe Storage Act, which seeks to create a child access prevention (CAP) secure storage law.
Among the testimonies in today’s hearing, lawmakers heard from Laura Judge, a volunteer with Georgia Moms Demand Action who said, “I support Rep. Au’s secure storage bill because I believe it’s the right thing and what any law-abiding gun owner would do when children are present… We can help prevent unintentional shootings by children and death by suicide in kids if firearms are securely stored. The number one cause of deaths in children under the age of 18 in America are firearms and as a parent, I applaud Dr. Au for taking the safety of our children here in Georgia into consideration.”
The measure introduced by gun sense champion Representative Michelle Au, would require that a person securely store firearms if a child could gain access to them–or face liability if they fail to do so and child gets ahold of the gun. The bill would also require dealers to post information about the storage requirement in gun stores.
According to a study of pediatric firearm injuries, nearly 90 percent of unintentional shooting injuries and deaths among children under the age of 15 occur at home. A study on storage practices showed that households that locked both firearms and ammunition had an 85 percent lower risk of unintentional firearm injuries among children and teenagers than those that locked neither.
In January, Everytown released the updated Gun Law Rankings for 2023 which ranks each state by the strength of their gun laws. This year, Georgia dropped from the “weak” category all the way down to rank 47 in the “national failure” category after repealing its permit requirement for both concealed and open carry, last year. More information about gun violence in Georgia is available here.
If you have questions, or to request an interview with a volunteer from Georgia Moms Demand Action about advocacy and gun violence prevention in the state, please reach out to [email protected].