Padilla Supports Legislation to Keep America’s Children Safe from Firearms

WASHINGTON, D.C. — This week, U.S. Senator Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) introduced legislation to ensure that children are kept safe from firearms. He joined Senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy (both D-Conn.) in leading several of his colleagues in introducing Ethan’s Law, which would require gun owners to safely and securely store their firearms. Padilla also joined Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and six of his Senate colleagues in introducing the Protecting Kids from Gun Marketing Act, which would direct the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to prescribe rules that prohibit the marketing of firearms to children.

“Gun violence is the leading cause of death for children in America, and the onus is on Congress to act to protect our kids from this epidemic,” said Senator Padilla. “These two commonsense bills would prevent gun manufacturers from marketing to children and require the safe storage of guns in homes. We don’t have to accept this cycle of devastating tragedies and I’m committed to ensuring we do our part to keep our children safe.”

Ethan’s Law

Named in honor of Ethan Song, a teenager from Guilford, Connecticut who was tragically 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.

Last year, the U.S. House of Representatives passed Ethan’s Law as part of the Protecting Our Kids Act, a broader legislative package focused on addressing America’s gun violence epidemic. 24 states already have some form of safe storage or child access prevention laws already on the books.

A one-pager on Ethan’s Law is available here.

Full text of the legislation can be found here.

Protecting Kids from Gun Marketing Act

The Protecting Kids from Gun Marketing Act is being introduces as Americans suffered 52 mass shootings and 3,700 gun-related deaths across the United States in the first month of this year alone. For decades, gunmakers have marketed their automatic rifle-style guns, the weapon of choice in mass shootings, and other weapons, to children. These weapons include Chicago-based WEE1 Tactical’s ‘JR-15’ assault-style weapon, marketed and sold as a child’s version of the AR-15 assault rifle.

Specifically, the Protecting Kids from Gun Marketing Act would:

  • Direct the FTC to promulgate a rule prohibiting the marketing of firearms to minors;
  • Require the FTC to report to Congress on enforcement of the rule;
  • Authorize state attorneys general to bring actions for violations of the rule; and
  • Establish a private right of action for individuals to bring actions for violation of the rule.

Last week, Senator Padilla joined a press conference with several Senate Democrats urging the FTC to investigate WEE1 Tactical’s JR-15 marketing and advertising tactics.

Full text of the legislation can be found here.


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