Georgia Bill Would Penalize Parents for Minors’ Gun Activity – Bearing Arms

Georgia Bill Would Penalize Parents for Minors’ Gun Activity – Bearing Arms

It’s absolutely essential for gun owning parents to act responsibly. The one thing no one wants is for an accident to shatter a family. You don’t want that on your conscience and neither would anyone else.

It’s why I love the idea of tax credits for gun safes, among others.

In Georgia, the state is pretty pro-gun and they’re currently looking at a measure that would create such tax credits. That’s a very good thing.

However, not every bill in the state that deals with storage is particular great. This one sure isn’t.

Georgia lawmakers are debating a bill that calls for stricter rules around gun safety by holding parents accountable for accidental gun violence.

The recent conviction this month of Jennifer Crumbley, mother to the Oxford High School shooter, gives a warning for gun owners across America. In Crumbley’s case, it was pointed out that the household gun used in the murders was not securely stored. House Bill 161 would be holding adults accountable for their roles in not actively taking the proper precautions to keep guns away from their children.

In the U.S., accidental shooting is the leading cause of death for children seventeen and younger.

Uh…no, it’s not.

Between 2005 and 2015, the average number of accidental firearm deaths was 430 across all age groups. While each of those is a tragedy, it’s not remotely enough to be the leading cause of death for children.

Hell, childhood cancer kills 1,800 a year all by itself.

What we have here is a misstatement based on a debunked study that claims guns are the leading killer of children. However, those are intentional homicides and they include 18- and 19-year-olds in the numbers while excluding people under the age of one.

Now, I don’t know if the mistake was willful or not, nor do I particularly care. It’s wrong information and I won’t just roll over and pretend it’s not there when it’s clearly being used to try and push for a law here in Georgia.

Moving onto the bill itself…

The proposed measure is called the “Pediatric Health Safe Storage Act.” it aims to stop gun owners from placing their guns in a place where the person knew or should have known a child could gain access. If passed, parents could face a fine of up to $5,000 or possible jail time.

All this gun safety and gun violence, it has got to start at home. It rules right back to nowadays (many adults) are not parents, they are their kids’ friends,” explained Sheriff Wilcher. “You can’t do that. You have to be parents and make your children understand right from wrong. When they grow up, they can have this instilled in their mind.

The bill advocated for firearms to be placed securely in a locked container or to make the firearm inoperable by a trigger lock. Violating this could result in a child’s discharge causing death or serious bodily harm. If that does happen, the owner or parent would face a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature.

Now, I’m a proponent of securing your guns, and I’ll give credit to the fact that while this bill “advocates” for people lock a gun up, it’s still a bit short of an actual mandatory storage bill.

That’s good.

The bad, though, is that this seeks to penalize parents who are probably already punishing themselves already.

And let’s also realize that the term “gain access” goes well beyond just leaving guns lying around. In theory, if you leave your keys on the counter and your child gets the safe key, opens it and shoots themself, you’re still likely to be in violation of the law.

That’s a problem.

So while I think parents should lock their guns up, trying to force the issue like this is a terrible idea.

The good news is that there’s almost no chance of the state of Georgia actually passing it.

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