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A new bill proposes potential new laws for gun owners

Posted at 6:08 PM, Feb 24, 2022

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Marylanders to prevent gun violence, it was a hearing in the House Wednesday for a bill they’re backing.

If passed it could change laws concerning how people store their guns away from kids and the penalties associated if there’s negligence involved.

Dozens of organizations, advocates and supporters are backing the bill called the Firearm Safety-Storage Requirement and Youth Suicide Prevention or Jaelynn’s Law.

If passed it could strengthen gun safety and storage laws, help prevent youth suicide and potentially reduce gun violence.

The bill has a long list of supporters and advocates including organizations like Mental and Public Health Professionals and city and surrounding county leaders alike.

Karen Herren who’s the Director of Legislative Affairs for the bill said if passed, it would be a modification to the current CAP law concerning how gun owners store their firearms away from minors and how they’re penalized if there’s negligence.

“It rewrites it to a point because the current language doesn't provide any real guidance. It just says you're supposed to keep your firearm away from kids," Herren said. "It doesn't say that the firearm needs to be unloaded, it doesn't say that the ammunition needs to be kept separate. Studies have shown that for CAP laws to really work to change storage behaviors, they need to have something a bit more substantial attached to them in terms of consequences. This is just basic safety that we're asking for here, storing the firearms unloaded, storing them locked and secured and the ammunition separate, it's pretty basic."

The new bill would also raise the age limit of who the guns should be stored away from. Right now its kids 15 and under, the new law would make it 17 years old and under.

Herren mentioned the majority of gun owners follow these safety measures already but for those who don’t, they will be held accountable.

So far organizers received good feedback from legislatures concerning the bill but it still has to go through a series of hurdles before its voted on to be approved.

The senate hearing is scheduled for March 15th.