GUILFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — This week, a Guilford family is taking the story of their son’s tragic death to Washington D.C.
The Song family will urge Congress to pass Ethan’s Law, a safe gun storage law named after their 15-year-old son who was killed in 2018 when he and a friend got a hold of an unlocked gun.
An infinity tattoo with Ethan’s name hugs Kristin Songs’ wrist. The Guilford mother will be testifying on Capitol Hill for Ethan’s Law to be enacted nationwide.
“There’s not a lot you can take with you from your child. So, this is a nice way for when I look down it gets me fired up to keep moving forward,” said Kristin Song.
News 8’s Jodi Latina asked, “Safe to say he’ll be hugging you tomorrow?” Song answered, “I hope so, yes.”
In 2018, Ethan Song, 15, was shot and killed while handling a .357 magnum pistol at a neighbor’s house. The gun wasn’t secured.
“When you lose a child your love doesn’t stop,” added Kristin.
The Guilford family standing with gun safety advocates from Newtown to New Haven on the eve of a very big day.
“Guns locked down: Ethan Song graduates from high school, kisses his first girl,” said Michael Song, Ethan’s father.
U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (CT-D) chairs the sub-committee of the Judiciary in Congress. His committee will host the Songs on Tuesday in Washington D.C.
He said, “We want a uniform national standard that applies to all states.”
Connecticut’s law signed in 2019 requires safe storage in a home with children up to age 18 regardless of whether the firearm is loaded or not.
Michael Song demonstrated for News 8 how quickly a gun owner can open a gun safe if needed for protection. Within seconds his fingers glide over bio-metric finger stroke keys and the safe door pops open.
Nicole Hockley, a mother who lost her son Dillion in the Sandy Hook tragedy in 2012 now advocates on behalf of the Sandy Hook Promise.
Hockley said, “In 2015 there was a study done an estimated 4.6 million children in the United States were living in a home in which at least one firearm was stored both loaded and unlocked.”
Hockley went on to point out research has shown three out of four of those children not only know the location, but one in three admitted to handling the firearm while not being supervised.
In New Haven, a recent gun incident at Edgewood Park shook the community.
Leonard Jahan, the executive director of the New Haven Connecticut Violence Intervention Program, says a mother at the park was faced with a harsh reality: “She was forced to tell her five-year-old the truth. That it’s not safe for her son to go to Edgewood Park.”
Acting New Haven Police Chief Renee Dominguez said, “If there is any ability for us to decrease the number of guns that get into the wrong hands we support it 100%.”
In addition to Ethans’ Law, Congress is debating a law permitting the Consumer Product Safety Commission to set standards for safes and gun locks.
Kristin Song says it’s about meeting those in opposition head-on: “We’re trying to reach out across the aisle try to come up with some common ground we all have and see what we can do.”
Song is expected to testify on Capitol Hill Tuesday afternoon. Senator Blumenthal will take the Gun Safe Storage Law up in the Senate. U.S. Representative Rosa DeLauro (CT-D) will usher it through in the House.