Local News

N.C. Lawmakers To Look At Tougher Gun Safety Measures

Posted January 13, 2003

— A child safety task force is trying to get state lawmakers to order tougher gun safety measures.

Gun locks or other safe storage methods are required by law for parents with children in the home. However, there is no requirement for families without children. Bruce Thompson, who heads North Carolinians Against Gun Violence, said he wants lawmakers to expand the law this year.

"We want to make sure the law applies to all gun owners, so that if children are in their homes at any time that parents and other carekeepers can feel safe with them," he said.

State lawmakers thought about the issue in 2001, but the measure failed when neither the state House or Senate took it up.

"The folks who are interested in protecting their second amendment rights feel, at times, that their constitutional rights are being chipped away, perhaps in small increments," said Sen. Alston Allran, R-Catawba.

Jonathan Sher, a child safety advocate, said nothing is as important as a child's life.

"Any child who dies accidentally because they had access to a gun, they ought never had access to, and that no adult intended them to have access to is a tragedy," Sher said.

Gun locks are often given away for free by many police agencies.

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