NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Advocates in Connecticut are renewing their push to pass Ethan’s Law on the federal level. The law, already in effect in the state, would mandate the safe storage of guns across the U.S.
Earlier this week, security camera footage caught an Indiana toddler playing with a gun like a toy, waving it, pointing it, and pulling the trigger. At one point, the child even pointed the gun at himself and pulled the trigger. He was not hurt, but it could have been tragic.
Kristin and Mike Song know it because their son, Ethan, got his hands on a gun five years ago.
“My beautiful boy was shot in the head with an unsecured gun at his best friend’s house,” Kristin Song said.
The Guilford teen’s death prompted Connecticut to pass Ethan’s Law, creating stiff penalties for anyone who does not properly store and secure a gun around children.
Last year, Connecticut’s congressional delegation pushed to get Ethan’s Law passed on the federal level. Thanks to testimony from Ethan’s mother, it came to a vote in the House.
“And, upon hearing the news, she immediately drove to the cemetery,” U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT-3) said. “She ran across it yelling, and I quote, ‘Ethan, we did it. Your lifesaving legislation will be heard. It will get a vote.'”
Ethan’s Law got that vote and passed in the House but failed in the U.S. Senate. This year, a new effort to try to get it passed.
“This law will pass because parents love their children and people hate to see kids like Ethan die,” Mike Song said.
And because national attitudes toward guns may be changing. Last year Congress passed some of the first meaningful federal gun reform legislation in years. Connecticut’s senators say Ethan’s Law could be next.
“We need to get it done because of the images we see on TV, but also because of an epidemic of children getting their hands on weapons,” U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) said.
In the House, DeLauro says she is optimistic but realizes that Democrats losing the majority will not make things any easier.
This new push to reintroduce Ethan’s Law comes as his family is getting ready to mark what would have been Ethan’s 20th birthday on Jan. 19.