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Engel Reintroduces Legislation to Stop the Sale of Faulty Gunlocks

Location: Washington, DC

May 25, 2005

Washington, D.C. - As a long time advocate of protecting American children from gun violence, Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY) is re-introducing legislation to protect parents and children from faulty gunlocks.

"When parents put a gunlock on a firearm, they should have confidence that the lock will prevent their children from firing the gun," Rep. Engel said. He added, "Congress has the responsibility to ensure that the gunlocks purchased by American consumers will protect their children from deadly consequences. Whether or not one thinks there should be guns in the house, the reality is that some American families keep firearms at home for their protection. Too many kids have been killed after they find Mom's or Dad's weapon. Those guns must be fully secured with an effective gunlock."

The legislation introduced by Rep. Engel instructs the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to set a national quality standard for all child safety devices used on firearms. Rep. Engel believes it only makes sense that all gunlocks should meet a real safety standard. The Congressman said, "This bill will allow families to have confidence that gun locks they buy will protect the lives of their children. When the well-being of loved-ones is at stake, parents should not be lulled into a false sense of security."

Highlighting the need for a national standard for locks is a program initiated in 2001 by President Bush called Project Childsafe. Funded through the Department of Justice, Project Childsafe has provided millions of gunlocks to gun owners. Yet, because there is no national standard on gunlocks, parents have no assurances that these locks are effective.

Rep. Engel added, "As more American families are turning to gun locks to protect their children, it may surprise many parents to know those gun locks are unregulated and not held to any quality standards." He added, "With the hundreds of different types of gun locks on the market, it is difficult for parents to be assured that the lock they are purchasing will be effective. I am not a locksmith and have been able to break open several of these gun locks with ease. If I were able to do it, I'm sure a creative child or teenager will have no problem accessing a parent's 'locked' weapon. We need a national standard so that a locked gun is fully secured."

The bill is sponsored by a children's advocacy group called the Children's Defense Fund and the Brady Campaign to End Gun Violence.

Michael Barnes, President of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence United, commended Rep. Engel for introducing the legislation: "I want to commend Congressman Engel for his leadership on this bill, and on many efforts to make our children safer. We need reasonable safety standards for gun locks to ensure that they provide the protection they promise."

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