Representative Subeck, Senators Taylor and Larson Introduce Legislation to Promote Safe Storage of Firearms

MADISON – Today Representative Lisa Subeck (D-Madison) and Senator Chris Larson (D-Milwaukee) and Senator Lena Taylor (D-Milwaukee) released “Safe Storage for Gun Safety” legislation to keep firearms inaccessible to children, away from individuals legally prohibited from possessing firearms, and out of the hands of criminals intending to do harm.

In the United States, nearly 500 people die each year as a result of unintentional firearm injuries, and Americans are four times more likely to die from an unintentional gun injury than people living in other high income countries. The ATF estimates that over 1 million firearms were stolen from private citizens and licensed gun dealers between 2017 and 2021, with approximately a quarter of those thefts going unreported. Data consistently shows that safe and secure firearm storage play a pivotal role in preventing both gun theft and accidental deaths and injuries. 

The “Safe Storage for Gun Safety” package includes five bills:

LRB-0699 requires a retail business that sells firearms to secure all firearms when the business is unattended.

LRB-0708 requires gun owners to keep their guns locked up if they reside with anyone who is prohibited from possessing a firearm under state law, except when carrying the firearm. 

LRB-0709 requires that anyone selling a gun provide the buyer with a secure lockable container or trigger lock during the sale.

LRB-0711 requires a gun owner to keep their guns locked up whenever there is a child present in their residence.

LRB-0710 requires a person who owns a firearm that is stolen or missing to report the theft or loss to a law enforcement agency within 24 hours of discovering the theft or loss. 

Representative Lisa Subeck: “Ensuring firearms are stored safely, inaccessible to children, and out of the hands of dangerous individuals is just plain common sense. We have the power to curb gun violence and accidental shootings. Our “Safe Storage for Gun Safety” legislation works to make our communities safer because every Wisconsin family deserves to know their children are safe at home, at school, and out in their neighborhood.”

Senator Chris Larson: “Wisconsin law specifies who is (and is not) supposed to have a gun. However, these laws do no good if those who own guns leave them lying around for anyone to access. From 2009 to 2018, at least 279 children under 15 in the United States died by an accidental gunshot wound, with 92% of cases where data was available showing that the gun was left loaded and unlocked. The bills in this package are designed with one goal in mind - to save lives, especially our children’s lives. There is nothing more important than protecting the health and safety of our kids.”

Senator Lena Taylor: “Research has found that roughly 50% of gun owners practice safe and secure storage of their guns.  The goal must be 100%. The proposed legislation does not infringe on 2nd amendment rights or restrict any freedoms.  It simply requires that gun owners take preemptive steps to ensure firearms don’t end up in the wrong hands. No responsible gun owner wants to find out that their firearm was used by a child, or individual who should not have had access to a gun. While gun ownership is a right, it comes with responsibilities.”