Text: H.R.748 — 117th Congress (2021-2022)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (02/03/2021)

 
[Congressional Bills 117th Congress]
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[H.R. 748 Introduced in House (IH)]

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117th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                H. R. 748

  To amend chapter 44 of title 18, United States Code, to require the 
           safe storage of firearms, and for other purposes.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                            February 3, 2021

 Ms. DeLauro (for herself, Mr. Larson of Connecticut, Mrs. Hayes, Mr. 
   Courtney, and Mr. Himes) introduced the following bill; which was 
               referred to the Committee on the Judiciary

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
  To amend chapter 44 of title 18, United States Code, to require the 
           safe storage of firearms, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as ``Ethan's Law''.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

    Congress find the following:
            (1) An estimated 4,600,000 minors in the United States live 
        in homes with at least 1 unsecured firearm.
            (2) Seventy-three percent of children under the age of 10 
        living in homes with firearms reported knowing the location of 
        their parents' firearms. Thirty-six percent of those children 
        reported handling their parents' unsecured firearms.
            (3) The presence of unsecured firearms in the home 
        increases the risk of unintentional and intentional shootings. 
        Over 75 percent of firearms used in youth suicide attempts and 
        unintentional firearm injuries were stored in the residence of 
        the victim, a relative, or a friend.
            (4) The United States Secret Service and the Department of 
        Education report that in 65 percent of deadly school shootings 
        the attacker obtained the firearm from his or her own home or 
        that of a relative.
            (5) In the last decade, nearly 2,000,000 firearms have been 
        reported stolen. In 2016 alone, 238,000 firearms were reported 
        stolen in the United States. Between 2010 and 2016, police 
        recovered more than 23,000 stolen firearms across jurisdictions 
        that were used to commit kidnappings, armed robberies, sexual 
        assaults, murders, and other violent crimes.
            (6) Higher levels of neighborhood gun violence drive 
        depopulation, discourages commercial activity, and decreases 
        property values, resulting in fewer business establishments, 
        fewer jobs, lower home values, and lower home ownership rates.
            (7) The negative economic impact of gun violence in 
        communities is tied directly to the national economy and 
        interstate commerce.
            (8) Congress has the power under the interstate commerce 
        clause and other provisions of the Constitution of the United 
        States to enact measures ensuring firearms are securely stored.

SEC. 3. SECURE GUN STORAGE OR SAFETY DEVICE.

    Section 922(z) of title 18, United States Code, is amended by 
adding at the end the following:
            ``(4) Secure gun storage by owners.--
                    ``(A) Offense.--
                            ``(i) In general.--Except as provided in 
                        clause (ii), it shall be unlawful for a person 
                        to store or keep any firearm that has moved in, 
                        or that has otherwise affected, interstate or 
                        foreign commerce on the premises of a residence 
                        under the control of the person if the person 
                        knows, or reasonably should know, that--
                                    ``(I) a minor is likely to gain 
                                access to the firearm without the 
                                permission of the parent or guardian of 
                                the minor; or
                                    ``(II) a resident of the residence 
                                is ineligible to possess a firearm 
                                under Federal, State, or local law.
                            ``(ii) Exception.--Clause (i) shall not 
                        apply to a person if the person--
                                    ``(I) keeps the firearm--
                                            ``(aa) secure using a 
                                        secure gun storage or safety 
                                        device; or
                                            ``(bb) in a location which 
                                        a reasonable person would 
                                        believe to be secure; or
                                    ``(II) carries the firearm on his 
                                or her person or within such close 
                                proximity thereto that the person can 
                                readily retrieve and use the firearm as 
                                if the person carried the firearm on 
                                his or her person.
                    ``(B) Penalty.--
                            ``(i) In general.--Any person who violates 
                        subparagraph (A) shall be fined $500 per 
                        violation.
                            ``(ii) Enhanced penalty.--If a person 
                        violates subparagraph (A) and a minor or a 
                        resident who is ineligible to possess a firearm 
                        under Federal, State, or local law obtains the 
                        firearm and causes injury or death to such 
                        minor, resident, or any other individual, the 
                        person shall be fined under this title, 
                        imprisoned for not more than 5 years, or both.
                            ``(iii) Forfeiture of improperly stored 
                        firearm.--Any firearm stored in violation of 
                        subparagraph (A) shall be subject to seizure 
                        and forfeiture in accordance with the 
                        procedures described in section 924(d).
                    ``(C) Minor defined.--In this paragraph, the term 
                `minor' means an individual who is less than 18 years 
                of age.''.

SEC. 4. FIREARM SAFE STORAGE PROGRAM.

    Title I of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 
(34 U.S.C. 10101 et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the 
following:

                ``PART OO--FIREARM SAFE STORAGE PROGRAM

``SEC. 3051. FIREARM SAFE STORAGE PROGRAM.

    ``(a) In General.--The Assistant Attorney General shall make grants 
to an eligible State or Indian Tribe to assist the State or Indian 
Tribe in carrying out the provisions of any State or Tribal law that is 
functionally identical to section 922(z)(4) of title 18, United States 
Code.
    ``(b) Eligible State or Indian Tribe.--
            ``(1) In general.--Except as provided in paragraph (2), a 
        State or Indian Tribe shall be eligible to receive grants under 
        this section on and after the date on which the State or Indian 
        Tribe--
                    ``(A) enacts legislation functionally identical to 
                section 922(z)(4) of title 18, United States Code; and
                    ``(B) the attorney general of the State (or 
                comparable Tribal official) submits a written 
                certification to the Assistant Attorney General stating 
                that the law of the State or Indian Tribe reflects the 
                sense of Congress in section 922(z)(4)(D) of such title 
                18.
            ``(2) First year eligibility exception.--
                    ``(A) In general.--A covered State or Indian Tribe 
                shall be eligible to receive a grant under this section 
                during the 1-year period beginning on the date of 
                enactment of this part.
                    ``(B) Covered state or indian tribe.--In this 
                paragraph, the term `covered State or Indian Tribe' 
                means a State or Indian Tribe that, before the date of 
                enactment of this part, enacted legislation--
                            ``(i) that is functionally identical to 
                        section 922(z)(4) of title 18, United States 
                        Code; and
                            ``(ii) for which the attorney general of 
                        the State (or comparable Tribal official) 
                        submits a written certification to the 
                        Assistant Attorney General stating that the law 
                        of the State or Indian Tribe reflects the sense 
                        of Congress in section 922(z)(4)(D) of such 
                        title 18.
    ``(c) Use of Funds.--Funds awarded under this section may be used 
by a State or Indian Tribe to assist law enforcement agencies or the 
courts of the State or Indian Tribe in enforcing and otherwise 
facilitating compliance with any State law functionally identical to 
section 922(z)(4), of title 18, United States Code.
    ``(d) Application.--An eligible State or Indian Tribe desiring a 
grant under this section shall submit to the Assistant Attorney General 
an application at such time, in such manner, and containing or 
accompanied by such information, as the Assistant Attorney General may 
reasonably require.
    ``(e) Incentives.--For each of fiscal years 2021 through 2025, the 
Attorney General shall give affirmative preference to all Bureau of 
Justice Assistance discretionary grant applications of a State or 
Indian Tribe that has enacted legislation--
            ``(1) functionally identical to section 922(z)(4) of title 
        18, United States Code; and
            ``(2) for which the attorney general of the State (or 
        comparable Tribal official) submits a written certification to 
        the Assistant Attorney General stating that the law of the 
        State or Indian Tribe reflects the sense of Congress in section 
        922(z)(4)(D) of such title 18.''.

SEC. 5. SENSE OF CONGRESS.

    Paragraph (4) of section 922(z) of title 18, United States Code, as 
added by section 3, is amended by adding at the end the following:
                    ``(D) Sense of congress relating to liability.--It 
                is the sense of Congress that--
                            ``(i) failure to comply with subparagraph 
                        (A) constitutes negligence under any relevant 
                        statute or common law rule; and
                            ``(ii) when a violation of subparagraph (A) 
                        is the but-for cause of a harm caused by the 
                        discharge of a firearm, such violation should 
                        be deemed to be the legal or proximate cause of 
                        such harm, regardless of whether such harm was 
                        also the result of an intentional tort.''.

SEC. 6. SEVERABILITY.

    If any provision of this Act, or an amendment made by this Act, or 
the application of such provision to any person or circumstance, is 
held to be invalid, the remainder of this Act, or an amendment made by 
this Act, or the application of such provision to other persons or 
circumstances, shall not be affected.
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