Democratic Sen. Tina Polsky is continuing her push to beef up Florida’s law regarding home gun storage. Polsky is filing legislation (SB 428) alongside Democratic Rep. Christine Hunschofsky to change the options available to gun owners with minors in their home.
“Our main goal is to address the gun violence crisis that has plagued the country,” Polsky said in a Tuesday statement.
“We have all heard the tragic stories that are the result of firearms not being properly secured. If owners properly store their firearms in a lockbox or with a trigger lock many of these tragedies could be avoided.”
Current law places restrictions on 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.”
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.
That second option would be eliminated under the legislation proposed by Polsky and Hunschofsky. That is, simply placing a gun “in a location which a reasonable person would believe to be secure” would be insufficient unless the gun is further secured in a locked container or with a trigger lock.
Polsky offered a similar version of the bill in the House last year. That bill did not advance through a single committee and is once again likely to be met with resistance in the GOP-controlled Legislature.
This past November, she won a Senate seat and is now partnering with former Parkland Mayor Hunschofsky on the measure. Hunschofsky served as Parkland Mayor during the 2018 mass shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School which left 17 people dead.
“Firearm safety begins at home,” Hunschofsky added Tuesday. “With effective safeguards and education, we make our homes, our children, our families, and our communities safer. I’m proud to file House Bill 167, which would create effective measures that provide safe access to guns. It’s an essential part of commonsense gun ownership and critical for critical for saving lives.”
The measures would also require a gun safety brochure to be provided 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.