The students began researching the issues and talking to community members about their ideas. Local lawmakers gave them advice on the legislative process. Eventually, Rep. Moffie Funk, a Helena Democrat, connected them with a legislative bill drafter.
The students’ ideas developed into HB 477. It would create a new criminal offense of “leaving a firearm accessible to a child.” A person could be fined up to $1,000 if they left a gun unsecured, a child got it and fired it, and it caused death or serious injury to the child or another person.
“Securing” a gun for the purposes of the law could include putting it in a locked container, The law would not apply if a child was using a gun to hunt, for sport or for other legal purposes while under adult supervision, or for self-defense.
HB 477 was introduced on the anniversary of the Parkland shootings and assigned to the Judiciary Committee. LEAP Forward is grading this bill and scoring support.