THIS WAS 2015.
At a rate of more than twice a day, a kid under 18 was shot and killed last year, according to The Trace.
Enough of children being “unintentionally” shot due to the negligence of gun owners who often, without thinking, put their easy access to weapons ahead of children’s lives. Enough of reading tragic stories of children, even toddlers, finding a gun and pulling the trigger, usually killing themselves or someone else.
State laws vary as to if and how prosecutors can hold adults responsible for being careless with their weapons. Often, existing state child endangerment laws do not include firearms. We, as mothers and gun violence prevention advocates, cannot bear to read of one more child being carelessly shot, so we decided to join forces and “take action”, as Congressman John Lewis recently encouraged us all to do.
So the Children’s Firearm Safety Alliance was born.
Our Mission: To reduce senseless child unintentional deaths and injuries in every state by advancing legislation holding adult gun owners responsible and educating the public how to keep children safe if a gun is in the home. Policy advocacy, education and legislation is vital.
We know there are many who want to protect children from tragic preventable firearm incidents – whether a medical professional, lawmaker, prosecutor, gun violence prevention advocate or like us, also a parent.
Beth Joslin Roth (co-founder) is the current executive director of Safe Tennessee Project and actively involved in her state in advancing MaKayla’s Law, named after the 8-year-old East Tennessee girl who was killed by an 11-year-old neighbor with his father’s shotgun.
Both Senate & House versions, introduced in February of 2016 by Sen. Sara Kyle and Rep. Sherry Jones, failed to make it to the Governor’s desk in 2016 however both bills will be re-introduced in 2017. MaKayla’s Law would establish criminal penalties if children gained access to a loaded gun.
Rep. Stacey Newman (co-founder) is in her 3rd term in the Missouri House representing a district which includes Washington University of St. Louis. She introduced Missouri HB2500 at a press event at the Gov. Mel Carnahan Courthouse in February 2016 along with St. Louis Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce, Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker and Asst. St. Louis Circuit Attorney Mary Pat Carl, all who helped draft the bill.
Missouri House Speaker Richardson refused to assign it to a committee until the last day of the 2016 session but Stacey will re-file it again in the 2017 legislative session. HB2500 would add a new crime to the current state child endangerment statute if an adult failed to secure a firearm, resulting in the injury or death of a child.
Contact : Stacey.Newman@house.mo.gov