Freshman Democratic Rep. Christine Hunschofsky is bringing forward a bill to update Florida’s regulations regarding home gun storage.
Hunschofsky is taking the lead on a measure (HB 167) similar to legislation filed during the 2020 Session by former Rep. Tina Polsky. Polsky is starting her first term in the Senate after winning the Senate District 29 contest in November.
The law currently can place requirements on gun owners who share a household with minors. Those restrictions apply to a gun owner “who knows or reasonably should know that a minor is likely to gain access to the firearm without the lawful permission of the minor’s parent or the person having charge of the minor, or without the supervision required by law.”
In those cases, the owner must either “keep the firearm in a securely locked box or container,” store the gun “in a location which a reasonable person would believe to be secure” or secure the weapon with a trigger lock.
Simply storing the gun “in a location which a reasonable person would believe to be secure” is no longer sufficient under the changes proposed by Hunschofsky. The bill requires those guns to be secured in a locked container or via a “firearm locking mechanism.”
Like Polsky’s bill last Session, Hunschofsky also requires a gun safety brochure to be handed out at the point of sale. That brochure must include safe storage rules, a list of locations where guns are prohibited and other safety measures.
The seller must also offer to show the buyer how to use a firearm locking mechanism.
It’s unclear whether Polsky will push to offer a companion bill in the Senate. Now-Senate Democratic Leader Gary Farmer took the lead in that body last Session. But with the GOP in charge of both chambers, the Democrats’ bills unsurprisingly did not get far. Both died without advancing through a single committee. This year’s attempt is likely to face a similar hurdle.
Hunschofsky took over the House District 96 seat after serving as Parkland Mayor. She oversaw the city during the 2018 mass shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School which left 17 people dead.