One lawmaker in Ohio has decided to try and put a stop to kids getting their hands on guns in the house, so he recently authored a bill that would require owners to lock them up securely.
State Representative Bill Patmon, a Democrat, has authored House Bill 31, which would require gun owners to lock up their guns inside of their homes. The bill came about after a school shooting in Patmon’s district last year left three students dead.
"The guns come from home, and they weren't safely stored," said Patmon, who believes many shootings, both accidental and intentional, come from young people having easy access to weapons at home. "Don't we see the correlation? Don't we see what's going on in our society?"
There are many who are against Patmon’s legislation, however. A user on the Fox 28 website commented on a story about House Bill 31, saying, “Lawmakers have no right telling us how to defend our families, especially in our own homes. Negligent owners should be held accountable, but making it more difficult to get to guns could cost you or your loved ones their lives. There are plenty of ways to responsibly keep guns out of kid's hands without having them locked up.”
Local gun rights activists agree. Buckeye Firearms President Jim Irvine says that the solution is education rather than legislation.
"At the end of the day, we've already got laws on child endangerment that are used against people who leave a gun in a reckless situation where a child gets hurt," said Irvine. "The harder you make it to get that firearm, the less likely a homeowner will be able to defend themselves."
Despite backlash, Patmon is still actively pushing his legislation in the state.