February 03, 2023

Wyden, Merkley, Colleagues Reintroduce “Ethan’s Law” Safe Gun Storage Legislation

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley said today they have joined Senate colleagues to reintroduce Ethan’s Law, legislation that would require gun owners to safely and securely store their firearms.

“Reducing access to unsupervised firearms with safe and proper gun storage will save lives in Oregon and nationwide,” Wyden said. “Congress must urgently pass Ethan’s Law to protect our schools, communities, and fight the gun violence epidemic tearing through this country.”

“As a parent, I remember sending my kids off to a friend’s home with the sense they’d be safe. But for too many families, play dates have turned into nightmares,” said Senator Merkley. “Ethan’s Law will help ensure guns are securely stored and keep our family, children, and loved ones safe.”

Named in honor of Ethan Song, a teenager from Guilford, Connecticut killed in 2018 by an unsecured gun in a neighbor’s home, the bill would create federal requirements for safe gun storage and establish strong penalties for any violations. With loaded and unlocked guns in the homes of an estimated 4.6 million American minors and killing or injuring eight children or teens every day, Ethan’s Law would reduce access to these unsupervised firearms often used in suicides, school shootings, and other acts of violence.

Under Ethan’s Law, gun owners would be required to secure their firearms in a “secure gun storage or safety device” if a minor is likely to gain access to the firearm without permission, or if a resident of the dwelling cannot legally possess a firearm under existing law. The bill also includes incentives for states to pass and enforce their own safe gun storage laws.

The legislation was led by U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., and Chris Murphy, D-Conn. Alongside Wyden and Merkley, the bill was cosponsored by U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., Cory Booker, D-N.J., Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, Bob Casey, D-Pa., Chris Coons, D-Del., Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., Dick Durbin, D-Ill., Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, Tim Kaine, D-Va., Mark Kelly, D-Ariz., Angus King, I-Maine, Ben Ray Luján, D-N.M., Edward J. Markey, D-Mass., Bob Menendez, D-N.J., Patty Murray, D-Wash., Alex Padilla, D-Calif., Jack Reed, D-R.I., Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Peter Welch, D-Vt., and Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I.

Ethan’s Law is endorsed by more than 180 gun violence prevention and law enforcement advocacy groups, including the Newtown Action Alliance, Giffords, Everytown for Gun Safety, Brady: United Against Gun Violence, the Major Cities Chiefs Association, Sandy Hook Promise, and March For Our Lives.  

The text of the bill is here.

A one pager on Ethan’s Law is here.