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Connecticut legislators reintroduce Ethan's Law creating federal safe gun storage law

Molly Ingram
(L-R) Mike Song, Kristin Song, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT), Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT-03), Mayor Justin Elicker

The parents of Ethan Song joined members of Connecticut’s congressional delegation on Wednesday to encourage lawmakers to pass Ethan’s Law at the federal level.

Ethan’s Law would require gun owners to safely secure their firearms at home. Song was 15 years old when he was killed with an unsecured firearm at a friend's house in Guilford.

Kristin Song, Ethan's mom, urged lawmakers to pass the bill in Congress the day before what would have been her son's 20th birthday.

“Ethan was killed with our neighbor's unsecured gun, which was stored in a shoebox with the ammunition,” Song said. “Instead of a negligent gun owner being arrested and prosecuted, his 14-year-old son was. This country is criminalizing our children and treating negligent gun owners as the victims.”

U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) urged his colleagues to support the bill, which previously passed in the House of Representatives but failed in the Senate.

“Connecticut has a gun violence rate 400% lower than the states in this country with the loosest gun laws,” Murphy said. “That's not a coincidence. That's because we have passed laws, like Ethan's Law, that have made it just a little bit harder for the wrong people to get their hands on dangerous weapons.”

Molly Ingram
Kristin and Mike Song watch as Senator Chris Murphy delivers remarks about Ethan's Law, which is named for their son, Ethan Song.

Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) said he plans to reintroduce the bill this year.

“These shootings are not accidents,” Blumenthal said. “They are not accidents any more than drunk driving crashes are accidents. They are preventable. They are senseless and unnecessary, and Ethan's Law at the federal level is going to come.”

Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT-03) said the bill already has 110 co-sponsors in the House of Representatives.

“This bill honors the memory of Ethan Song and all the work his parents continued to do to create and to implement safe gun storage laws across Connecticut and across our nation,” DeLauro said.

New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker met the Song family and U.S. congressional members from Connecticut at the New Haven Botanical Garden of Healing Dedicated to Victims of Gun Violence.

Molly Ingram
The New Haven Botanical Garden of Healing Dedicated to Victims of Gun Violence.

Elicker said three people have already been killed by guns in his city this year.

“In 2020, in August, we lost a young person of eight. That could have been prevented, had there been safe storage of a gun in that young boy's home,” Elicker said.

The bill will be introduced in the House of Representatives on Jan. 31 — exactly five years since the day Ethan died.

Molly is a reporter covering Fairfield County. She also produces Long Story Short, a podcast exploring public policy issues across Connecticut.