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After a Landmark Federal Law, What’s Next for Gun Safety in the States

7.13.2022

There is so much to celebrate in the wake of Congress’ historic passage of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (BSCA), the first major federal gun safety law of the century and a historic gun safety, mental health, and school safety bill. As the law begins to take effect, there is urgent action state and local leaders can take immediately to help fulfill the BSCA’s promise to save lives – and to build new policy inspired by its critical gun safety objectives.

State and local leaders should consider the following steps:

Supporting State Extreme Risk (or “Red Flag”) Laws

  • State executives should apply for the $750 million in new funding to support Extreme Risk laws.
  • States that receive grant funding should use it to fully implement their laws, including by launching a state coordinator, public awareness campaign, and mandatory training program for relevant government agencies.
  • States without Extreme Risk laws should pass those laws now.

Enhancing Background Checks for Gun Buyers Under 21

  • State agencies should prepare to respond to new background checks for young people.
  • States should raise the minimum age for gun purchase to 21.

Funding Community Violence Intervention Programs

  • Local governments and community-based organizations should apply for the new $250 million in competitive grant funding.
  • State and local policymakers should keep building the case for the impact of these programs.

Disarming Domestic Abusers and the Dating Partner Loophole

  • Governors should work with courts to get domestic abuse records into the background check system.
  • Legislators should pass their own strong state laws barring gun possession by abusers.
  • States should build out existing relinquishment programs, or pass new ones, to ensure illegal guns are immediately removed from domestic abusers who are barred from owning guns.

Strengthening the Background Check System

  • Governors should tap new federal money to help submit background check records.
  • State officials should work with federal officials to identify high-volume gun sellers who need dealer licenses, and work to increase oversight and requirements for gun dealers.

Cracking Down on Gun Trafficking

  • State agencies should take advantage of new federal crimes to bring traffickers to justice and should use this moment to build their own data intelligence tools to identify illegal guns.

Funding School Safety Resources

  • State agencies should use the new $300 million in grant funding for education about secure gun storage, threat assessment programs, and school security and emergency planning.
  • Lawmakers should pass or strengthen secure gun storage requirements.

Supporting State Extreme Risk (or “Red Flag”) Laws

The BSCA provides $750 million in funding over the next 5 years to support crisis intervention services, including the implementation of state Extreme Risk (or “Red Flag”) laws — with the first allocations being made available to states this year. In addition, any funding a state or local government receives annually through the Byrne JAG grant program can now be used to support the implementation of Extreme Risk laws.

Which states have Extreme Risk Laws?

19 states have adopted this policy

AL AK AZ AR CA CO CT DE FL GA HI ID IL IN IA KS KY LA ME MD MA MI MN MS MO MT NE NV NH NJ NM NY NC ND OH OK OR PA RI SC SD TN TX UT VT VA WA WV WI WY

Extreme Risk Law

Alabama has not adopted this policy

Extreme Risk Law

Alaska has not adopted this policy

Extreme Risk Law

Arizona has not adopted this policy

Extreme Risk Law

Arkansas has not adopted this policy

Extreme Risk Law

California has adopted this policy

Who may petition for an order?
Law enforcement, immediate family members, employers, coworkers, and employees/teachers

Extreme Risk Law

Colorado has adopted this policy

Who may petition for an order?
Law enforcement and family/household members

Extreme Risk Law

Connecticut has adopted this policy

Who may petition for an order?
Law enforcement, family/household members, and medical professionals

Extreme Risk Law

Delaware has adopted this policy

Who may petition for an order?
Law enforcement and family members

Extreme Risk Law

Florida has adopted this policy

Who may petition for an order?
Law enforcement only

Extreme Risk Law

Georgia has not adopted this policy

Extreme Risk Law

Hawaii has adopted this policy

Who may petition for an order?
Law enforcement, family/household members, medical professionals, educators, and colleagues

Extreme Risk Law

Idaho has not adopted this policy

Extreme Risk Law

Illinois has adopted this policy

Who may petition for an order?
Law enforcement and family members

Extreme Risk Law

Indiana has adopted this policy

Who may petition for an order?
Law enforcement only

Extreme Risk Law

Iowa has not adopted this policy

Extreme Risk Law

Kansas has not adopted this policy

Extreme Risk Law

Kentucky has not adopted this policy

Extreme Risk Law

Louisiana has not adopted this policy

Extreme Risk Law

Maine has not adopted this policy

Extreme Risk Law

Maryland has adopted this policy

Who may petition for an order?
Law enforcement, family members, doctors, and mental health professionals

Extreme Risk Law

Massachusetts has adopted this policy

Who may petition for an order?
Family/household members and gun licensing authorities

Extreme Risk Law

Michigan has not adopted this policy

Extreme Risk Law

Minnesota has not adopted this policy

Extreme Risk Law

Mississippi has not adopted this policy

Extreme Risk Law

Missouri has not adopted this policy

Extreme Risk Law

Montana has not adopted this policy

Extreme Risk Law

Nebraska has not adopted this policy

Extreme Risk Law

Nevada has adopted this policy

Who may petition for an order?
Law enforcement and family/household members

Extreme Risk Law

New Hampshire has not adopted this policy

Extreme Risk Law

New Jersey has adopted this policy

Who may petition for an order?
Law enforcement and family/household members

Extreme Risk Law

New Mexico has adopted this policy

Who may petition for an order?
Law enforcement only

Extreme Risk Law

New York has adopted this policy

Who may petition for an order?
Law enforcement, district attorneys, family/household members, school administrators, health care providers who have treated the person in the past 6 months

Extreme Risk Law

North Carolina has not adopted this policy

Extreme Risk Law

North Dakota has not adopted this policy

Extreme Risk Law

Ohio has not adopted this policy

Extreme Risk Law

Oklahoma has not adopted this policy

Extreme Risk Law

Oregon has adopted this policy

Who may petition for an order?
Law enforcement and family/household members

Extreme Risk Law

Pennsylvania has not adopted this policy

Extreme Risk Law

Rhode Island has adopted this policy

Who may petition for an order?
Law enforcement only

Extreme Risk Law

South Carolina has not adopted this policy

Extreme Risk Law

South Dakota has not adopted this policy

Extreme Risk Law

Tennessee has not adopted this policy

Extreme Risk Law

Texas has not adopted this policy

Extreme Risk Law

Utah has not adopted this policy

Extreme Risk Law

Vermont has adopted this policy

Who may petition for an order?
States attorneys and the Office of the Attorney General

Extreme Risk Law

Virginia has adopted this policy

Who may petition for an order?
Law enforcement and Commonwealth Attorneys

Extreme Risk Law

Washington has adopted this policy

Who may petition for an order?
Law enforcement and family/household members

Extreme Risk Law

West Virginia has not adopted this policy

Extreme Risk Law

Wisconsin has not adopted this policy

Extreme Risk Law

Wyoming has not adopted this policy

In states with existing Extreme Risk laws, state executives and agencies should apply for and utilize the newly available funds to increase uptake and strengthen implementation of Extreme Risk laws:

  • Governors in the states with Extreme Risk laws should apply for their respective allocation of the JAG Crisis Intervention Funding as soon as a federal solicitation is posted (likely in August 2022). The BSCA allocates these funds according to a formula (see expected allocations in the appendix to this fact sheet), and executives and lawmakers can consider supplementing that funding with new state dollars. Governors should consider using these funds to build out their Extreme Risk programs in the following ways:
    • Coordinating the work statewide, either with a new Extreme Risk implementation coordinator or via a state Office of Violence Intervention (OVI). State officials should work with stakeholders across the state, with the federal Bureau of Justice Assistance on technical assistance, and with partners in other Extreme Risk states to optimize uptake of Extreme Risk orders, develop best practices, and ensure the law is implemented appropriately and equitably across the state.
    • Launching a statewide public awareness campaign about what behavior suggests a person may harm themselves or others – and how people who identify warning signs can use Extreme Risk laws to remove guns from those dangerous situations. This may include TV and radio ads, web resources, schools and doctors distributing handouts to parents and patients, and tapping other culturally-appropriate messengers, and should have multilingual resources. 
    • Establishing a statewide task force to educate state agencies –from police and departments of education to behavioral health officials – responsible for: 
      • developing training materials and technical assistance for law enforcement and court staff on the mechanics of Extreme Risk Protection Orders and providing technical assistance as needed. 
      • identifying circumstances where law enforcement should be required to file Extreme Risk petitions – i.e., when law enforcement believes that a person poses an imminent threat. 
      • building tools to help people in crisis access substance use and behavioral health resources.
      • focusing on domestic terrorism and armed extremism, in coordination with federal officials, with a new protocol for investigating ties to white supremacist and other extremist groups, including on social media.
    • Conducting research and evaluation of Extreme risk laws to enable the state to establish best practices and recommend changes to the existing law through keeping detailed data on how the Extreme Risk law is used, analyzing its impact in collaboration with public health researchers, measuring the law’s use and effectiveness, and analyzing racial impacts.1States should publish an annual report that includes detailed data on the trajectory of all extreme risk petitions – including e.g., how many are heard but not granted, how many are deemed to be fraudulent – broken down by race and ethnicity of the petitioner and respondent.
    • Working with behavioral and mental health service providers related to the safe and equitable application of the law.

Local Action

Local officials in states with Extreme Risk laws should request a portion of these funds through direct application to the Byrne JAG grant program or a request to the state recipient in accordance with standard Byrne JAG grant funding procedure. These funds can be used to expand and strengthen the Extreme Risk practices in local jurisdictions. All states with Extreme Risk laws allow law enforcement to file petitions for an Extreme Risk order, and local officials are often best suited to identify members of their community who are in crisis. This funding can be utilized to create and train dedicated Extreme Risk teams, tapping not only law enforcement officials but also appropriate social service providers who can refer people subject to Extreme Risk orders into appropriate care.

In states without an existing Extreme Risk process, legislatures should put those laws into place. The states without Extreme Risk laws should act now to pass these life-saving laws. The BSCA passed with the support of 15 Republican Senators and 14 Republican House members, including party leaders with A+ ratings from the NRA like Senators Mitch McConnell and John Cornyn. This breakthrough should propel state legislators from every political background to support this policy, now proven to have strong bipartisan support. Generous federal funding, allocated pursuant to a formula which includes amounts such as $64 million in Sen. Cornyn’s home state of Texas, makes new legislation that much more appealing – as new Extreme Risk states can act quickly to educate the public, put in place dedicated resources to screen for red flags, and otherwise immediately increase uptake of the policy.

Enhancing Background Checks for Gun Buyers Under 21

The BSCA establishes an enhanced background check process and investigative period for buyers under age 21. Before any of these sales may proceed, federal background check operators will be required to contact state criminal history repository or juvenile justice systems, along with custodians of mental health adjudications and local law enforcement, to search for disqualifying records not already in the federal databases. 

Governors should immediately prepare the relevant state agencies to respond to the these new federal background check inquiries for young people by:

  • Identifying the appropriate criminal history, juvenile justice, and mental health contacts for federal background check operators, and providing written guidance to each contact describing which types of juvenile records are prohibiting under federal and/or state law. 
    • While the new federal law does not require any new categories of juvenile records be submitted into the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), the guidance should be used to improve proper record submission.
  • Setting up a process to facilitate responding to and routing calls from background check operators conducting enhanced background checks. 

In point-of-contact states, where in-state officials run gun purchase background checks instead of the FBI, governors should direct the agency in charge to set up an analogous process to the new federal investigation. Each covered state should confirm that it can update its procedure via policy, and does not need other formal action to make this change.

Local Action

Local officials should immediately prepare local law enforcement agencies to respond to inquiries from background check operators regarding the existence of potentially disqualifying juvenile records, and to ensure they have an appropriate process to search for any such records that are not already in the federal background check database.

State legislatures can leverage the momentum of the federal law and take additional steps now to help keep guns out of the wrong hands by requiring all gun buyers to be at least 21 years old. The new federal law reflects a bipartisan consensus that people under 21 years old pose a special threat with firearms. State legislatures can act boldly by raising the minimum age for gun purchases or concealed carry to 21.

Funding Community Violence Intervention Programs

The BSCA includes $250 million over 5 years in dedicated funding for evidence-informed, community-based violence intervention programs that have been proven to reduce gun violence in the most affected communities using a public health approach. The grant program will be run by the Department of Justice, and build off the new $50 million grant program in the fiscal year 2022 omnibus appropriation package. States should act now to take advantage:

  • Educating and encouraging local governments and community-based organizations to apply for competitive grant funding for community-based violence intervention programs, which is expected to be awarded under the Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs Community Based Violence Intervention and Prevention Initiative.
  • Helping to build the case publicly for the impact of these programs by funding sophisticated evaluations; publishing best practices and building knowledge to serve as a technical assistance and capacity building provider (or connector to outside experts); and convening stakeholders and serving as a public advocate for these mission-critical gun safety solutions, especially in towns and cities that are slow to appreciate and adopt them.

Local Action

Local officials, along with community-based organizations, are eligible to apply directly for this funding, and should begin to prepare their applications for these grants as soon as practicable.

Disarming Domestic Abusers and the Dating Partner Loophole

The BSCA expands the current prohibition preventing convicted domestic abusers from buying or possessing guns to include not only those who abused their current or former spouses, but also those who abused their current or recent dating partners. The gun prohibition for dating partners convicted of misdemeanor crimes will last only for five years if they are not otherwise prohibited, have never been convicted of any other misdemeanor crime of domestic violence against a dating partner, and were not convicted of assault during that five-year period.2The exclusion applies to any convictions for assault with the use of force, threatened use of force or use of any deadly weapon.

State executives should take action now to ensure that the new federal prohibition is enforced properly:

  • Educating judges and court staff on the new federal prohibition and providing guidance on determining whether a relationship involves “current or recent dating partners” under the new federal standard.
  • Requiring that all prohibiting domestic violence records submitted into NICS contain a clear indication that a record is prohibiting under federal and/or state law. As domestic violence records are only prohibiting under certain circumstances, they may not be caught during a background check if they were not properly labeled when entered into the system. States can apply for new federal funding to support these efforts.

Lawmakers should consolidate the federal breakthrough on this issue, putting the strongest possible state laws in place to keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers:

  • State legislatures should prohibit abusers under restraining orders: All fifty states should ensure they prohibit abusive partners who are under restraining orders for abusing their dating partners. While Congress did not act to cover these individuals, 22 states have done so, with another 9 states that prohibit many abusers under restraining orders but not dating partners.
  • State legislatures should prohibit convicted abusers from having guns: All fifty states should ensure that they have matching prohibitions in their codes covering dating partners, so that state authorities can enforce the law properly. Only 20 states already cover these abusers, while an additional 11 states prohibit convicted domestic abusers in general but do not cover dating partners.

Removing illegal guns: With new Congressional action to address the intersection of gun violence and domestic violence for the first time in 25 years, states should redouble their efforts to enforce these laws by ensuring illegal guns are removed promptly.

  • In states with relinquishment laws in place, courts and law enforcement should work together to build out programs that remove illegal guns through the court system, at the time of a conviction or the start of a restraining order. Twenty-three states have taken action to do so – those states can audit and improve their current work, and increase funding through state coffers or federal grants. 
  • In the states without relinquishment laws in place, legislators should enact new requirements immediately. Governors can also take action to build strong programs even without legal requirements in place.
  • States, local governments, and courts should apply for federal funding to assist in implementing firearms relinquishment policies and practices throughout the civil and criminal justice system, and seek technical assistance from the Office of Violence Against Women.3The Office of Violence Against Women had a targeted solicitation in Fall 2021 to support relinquishment policies; a similar solicitation may be forthcoming for 2022. States can also seek Improving Criminal Justice Responses funding.

Local Action

Local efforts are critical in ensuring that prohibited domestic abusers relinquish their firearms. Courts and law enforcement should work together to develop enforcement and accountability measures, including firearm surrender forms and compliance hearings, and directing officials to seize firearms when there is probable cause that a prohibited person has failed to surrender their guns.

In states that keep records of gun sales, Governors can take bold action by directing the creation of centralized illegal gun removal programs that identify in real-time when gun owners become prohibited – and ensure they are disarmed. Only seven states currently have these programs.

Strengthening the Background Check System

The BSCA provides $200 million to states to make more records available to the background check system. Governors should ensure that appropriate state agencies apply for this grant funding, which is likely to be awarded through the NICS Act Record Improvement Program, to improve the submission of criminal and mental health records into the federal background check system:

  • Identifying gaps in existing practices for reporting prohibiting records into NICS, and taking all appropriate steps to close these gaps. This includes submitting records that existed prior to the enactment of any relevant state record-submission laws,4Under the BSCA, dating partners prohibited by a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence conviction are only prohibited on a forward basis. However, 20 states already prohibit dating partners convicted of MCDVs, and these states should ensure that all past MCDV convictions are submitted. ensuring that records from courts, health facilities, and any entity holding prohibiting records are submitted, and requiring that all records be submitted within a short, designated period of time following the prohibiting event.
  • Requiring that all records submitted into NICS contain a clear indication that a record is prohibiting under federal and/or state law. This is particularly important for records of misdemeanor domestic violence convictions and domestic violence restraining orders, which are only prohibiting under certain circumstances – and which may not be caught during a background check if they were not properly labeled when entered into the system.

The new law also clarifies the federal requirement that people “engaged in the business” of selling firearms must be registered as dealers, making it more clear when people who sell guns to strangers are required to obtain a federal license and run background checks on all their buyers.  States can help enforce this standard, working with federal officials to identify high volume gun sellers who have failed to obtain a federal firearms license under the revised standard set forth in the BSCA.

States should take this opportunity to also establish or strengthen their own requirements:

  • In the states that require state gun dealer licensing, Governors should direct the appropriate authorities to review existing requirements and oversight, and to mandate additional rules and oversight to fill any gaps, including background checks and training for employees, robust physical security to prevent theft, and thorough record-keeping.
  • State legislatures in states without these laws should pass legislation requiring gun sellers to obtain a state-issued license and mandating strong rules and oversight.

Which states require gun dealer licensing?

15 states have adopted this policy

AL AK AZ AR CA CO CT DE FL GA HI ID IL IN IA KS KY LA ME MD MA MI MN MS MO MT NE NV NH NJ NM NY NC ND OH OK OR PA RI SC SD TN TX UT VT VA WA WV WI WY

Dealer License Required

Alabama has adopted this policy

Dealer License Required

Alaska has not adopted this policy

Dealer License Required

Arizona has not adopted this policy

Dealer License Required

Arkansas has not adopted this policy

Dealer License Required

California has adopted this policy

Dealer License Required

Colorado has not adopted this policy

Dealer License Required

Connecticut has adopted this policy

Dealer License Required

Delaware has adopted this policy

Dealer License Required

Florida has not adopted this policy

Dealer License Required

Georgia has not adopted this policy

Dealer License Required

Hawaii has adopted this policy

Dealer License Required

Idaho has not adopted this policy

Dealer License Required

Illinois has adopted this policy

Dealer License Required

Indiana has adopted this policy

Dealer License Required

Iowa has not adopted this policy

Dealer License Required

Kansas has not adopted this policy

Dealer License Required

Kentucky has not adopted this policy

Dealer License Required

Louisiana has not adopted this policy

Dealer License Required

Maine has not adopted this policy

Dealer License Required

Maryland has adopted this policy

Dealer License Required

Massachusetts has adopted this policy

Dealer License Required

Michigan has not adopted this policy

Dealer License Required

Minnesota has not adopted this policy

Dealer License Required

Mississippi has not adopted this policy

Dealer License Required

Missouri has not adopted this policy

Dealer License Required

Montana has not adopted this policy

Dealer License Required

Nebraska has not adopted this policy

Dealer License Required

Nevada has not adopted this policy

Dealer License Required

New Hampshire has adopted this policy

Dealer License Required

New Jersey has adopted this policy

Dealer License Required

New Mexico has not adopted this policy

Dealer License Required

New York has adopted this policy

Dealer License Required

North Carolina has not adopted this policy

Dealer License Required

North Dakota has not adopted this policy

Dealer License Required

Ohio has not adopted this policy

Dealer License Required

Oklahoma has not adopted this policy

Dealer License Required

Oregon has not adopted this policy

Dealer License Required

Pennsylvania has adopted this policy

Dealer License Required

Rhode Island has adopted this policy

Dealer License Required

South Carolina has not adopted this policy

Dealer License Required

South Dakota has not adopted this policy

Dealer License Required

Tennessee has not adopted this policy

Dealer License Required

Texas has not adopted this policy

Dealer License Required

Utah has not adopted this policy

Dealer License Required

Vermont has not adopted this policy

Dealer License Required

Virginia has not adopted this policy

Dealer License Required

Washington has adopted this policy

Dealer License Required

West Virginia has not adopted this policy

Dealer License Required

Wisconsin has not adopted this policy

Dealer License Required

Wyoming has not adopted this policy

Cracking Down on Gun Trafficking

The new federal law establishes the first ever federal laws against interstate gun trafficking and straw purchasing to stop the flow of illegal guns into cities. The law will make it illegal to buy a gun for someone a person knows or has reasonable cause to believe is prohibited from possessing them or planning to commit a crime. Governors and mayors should prepare the relevant agencies to work with federal law enforcement officials to identify, investigate, and bring illegal gun traffickers to justice.

Governors and mayors can take further steps to help combat gun trafficking by working with the appropriate agencies to:

  • Build a data intelligence tool that identifies illegal guns and their sources, providing a real-time view of crime gun data and helping to expand investigations and break up trafficking rings. 
  • Commit to publishing information about dealers and other industry actors who fuel these networks.

Funding School Safety Resources

The BSCA includes $300 million in new grant funding for school violence prevention efforts. The new money, provided pursuant to the STOP School Violence Act, helps primary and secondary schools implement evidence-based school safety programs, including programmatic interventions such as tip lines and threat assessment, and targeted school security improvements. State agencies, local governments, and higher-education institutions should seek this federal funding and put it to use:

  • Increasing awareness of firearm storage practices, and distributing information to parents about the importance of secure storage to keep guns out of the hands of students, kids, and teens. The most common sources of guns used in school shootings are the shooter’s home, the home of friends, and the home of relatives. 
  • Creating and enhancing evidence-based threat assessment programs in schools, helping schools identify students who are at risk of commiting violence and resolve student threat incidents by getting the students the help they need.
  • Establishing tip lines to promote the sharing and collection of information about threats.
  • Implementing expert-endorsed school security upgrades, including access control measures that keep shooters out of schools as well as internal door locks. 
  • Initiating effective, trauma-informed emergency planning, allowing for a prepared response if an incident of gun violence does occur on school grounds.

Which states have secure storage laws?

23 states have adopted this policy

AL AK AZ AR CA CO CT DE FL GA HI ID IL IN IA KS KY LA ME MD MA MI MN MS MO MT NE NV NH NJ NM NY NC ND OH OK OR PA RI SC SD TN TX UT VT VA WA WV WI WY

Secure Storage Required

Alabama has not adopted this policy

Secure Storage Required

Alaska has not adopted this policy

Secure Storage Required

Arizona has not adopted this policy

Secure Storage Required

Arkansas has not adopted this policy

Secure Storage Required

California has adopted this policy

When does the law apply?
When child may or is likely to access
How does the state define child?
Under 18
Does the state law require storage to prevent access by other prohibited people?
Yes

Secure Storage Required

Colorado has adopted this policy

When does the law apply?
When child may or is likely to access
How does the state define child?
Under 18
Does the state law require storage to prevent access by other prohibited people?
Yes

Secure Storage Required

Connecticut has adopted this policy

When does the law apply?
After child gains access
How does the state define child?
Under 18
Does the state law require storage to prevent access by other prohibited people?
Yes

Secure Storage Required

Delaware has adopted this policy

When does the law apply?
After child gains access
How does the state define child?
Under 18
Does the state law require storage to prevent access by other prohibited people?
Yes

Secure Storage Required

Florida has adopted this policy

When does the law apply?
After child gains access
How does the state define child?
Under 16
Does the state law require storage to prevent access by other prohibited people?
No

Secure Storage Required

Georgia has not adopted this policy

Secure Storage Required

Hawaii has adopted this policy

When does the law apply?
After child gains access
How does the state define child?
Under 18
Does the state law require storage to prevent access by other prohibited people?
No

Secure Storage Required

Idaho has not adopted this policy

Secure Storage Required

Illinois has adopted this policy

When does the law apply?
After child gains access
How does the state define child?
Under 14
Does the state law require storage to prevent access by other prohibited people?
No

Secure Storage Required

Indiana has not adopted this policy

Secure Storage Required

Iowa has adopted this policy

When does the law apply?
After child gains access
How does the state define child?
Under 14
Does the state law require storage to prevent access by other prohibited people?
No

Secure Storage Required

Kansas has not adopted this policy

Secure Storage Required

Kentucky has not adopted this policy

Secure Storage Required

Louisiana has not adopted this policy

Secure Storage Required

Maine has adopted this policy

When does the law apply?
After child gains access
How does the state define child?
Under 16
Does the state law require storage to prevent access by other prohibited people?
No

Secure Storage Required

Maryland has adopted this policy

When does the law apply?
After child gains access
How does the state define child?
Under 16
Does the state law require storage to prevent access by other prohibited people?
No

Secure Storage Required

Massachusetts has adopted this policy

When does the law apply?
Any time not in owner’s immediate control
How does the state define child?
Under 18
Does the state law require storage to prevent access by other prohibited people?
No

Secure Storage Required

Michigan has not adopted this policy

Secure Storage Required

Minnesota has adopted this policy

When does the law apply?
When child may or is likely to access
How does the state define child?
Under 18
Does the state law require storage to prevent access by other prohibited people?
No

Secure Storage Required

Mississippi has not adopted this policy

Secure Storage Required

Missouri has not adopted this policy

Secure Storage Required

Montana has not adopted this policy

Secure Storage Required

Nebraska has not adopted this policy

Secure Storage Required

Nevada has adopted this policy

When does the law apply?
When child may or is likely to access
How does the state define child?
Under 18
Does the state law require storage to prevent access by other prohibited people?
No

Secure Storage Required

New Hampshire has adopted this policy

When does the law apply?
After child gains access
How does the state define child?
Under 16
Does the state law require storage to prevent access by other prohibited people?
No

Secure Storage Required

New Jersey has adopted this policy

When does the law apply?
After child gains access
How does the state define child?
Under 16
Does the state law require storage to prevent access by other prohibited people?
No

Secure Storage Required

New Mexico has not adopted this policy

Secure Storage Required

New York has adopted this policy

When does the law apply?
When child may or is likely to access
How does the state define child?
Under 16
Does the state law require storage to prevent access by other prohibited people?
Yes

Secure Storage Required

North Carolina has adopted this policy

When does the law apply?
After child gains access
How does the state define child?
Under 18
Does the state law require storage to prevent access by other prohibited people?
No

Secure Storage Required

North Dakota has not adopted this policy

Secure Storage Required

Ohio has not adopted this policy

Secure Storage Required

Oklahoma has not adopted this policy

Secure Storage Required

Oregon has adopted this policy

When does the law apply?
Any time not in owner’s immediate control
How does the state define child?
Under 18
Does the state law require storage to prevent access by other prohibited people?
No

Secure Storage Required

Pennsylvania has not adopted this policy

Secure Storage Required

Rhode Island has adopted this policy

When does the law apply?
After child gains access
How does the state define child?
Under 16
Does the state law require storage to prevent access by other prohibited people?
No

Secure Storage Required

South Carolina has not adopted this policy

Secure Storage Required

South Dakota has not adopted this policy

Secure Storage Required

Tennessee has not adopted this policy

Secure Storage Required

Texas has adopted this policy

When does the law apply?
After child gains access
How does the state define child?
Under 17
Does the state law require storage to prevent access by other prohibited people?
No

Secure Storage Required

Utah has not adopted this policy

Secure Storage Required

Vermont has not adopted this policy

Secure Storage Required

Virginia has adopted this policy

When does the law apply?
When child may or is likely to access
How does the state define child?
Under 14
Does the state law require storage to prevent access by other prohibited people?
No

Secure Storage Required

Washington has adopted this policy

When does the law apply?
After child gains access
How does the state define child?
Under 18
Does the state law require storage to prevent access by other prohibited people?
Yes

Secure Storage Required

West Virginia has not adopted this policy

Secure Storage Required

Wisconsin has adopted this policy

When does the law apply?
After child gains access
How does the state define child?
Under 14
Does the state law require storage to prevent access by other prohibited people?
No

Secure Storage Required

Wyoming has not adopted this policy

Local Action

Local governments should lead the distribution of secure firearm storage information to parents in schools throughout their jurisdictions, utilizing best practices for ensuring appropriate dissemination of information within their communities.

States should also respond to this historical moment, partially fueled by the tragic school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, by passing and strengthening secure storage laws which hold gun owners accountable when children can or do access an unsecured gun. The most protective and comprehensive laws require gun owners to secure their firearms whenever they are not in their immediate possession or control.

  • In the states with secure storage laws, state legislatures should look to strengthen their requirements.
  • In the states lacking a secure storage policy, state legislatures should prioritize passing these life-saving laws.

How strong are the gun laws in your state?

#14

Virginia

Gun Law Strength

Composite score

48

0 100

Gun Violence Rate

Gun deaths per 100k residents

13.4

0 National Average 30

Virginia has made great strides to reduce gun violence and now has the 14th strongest gun safety laws in the country.

Appendix

Estimated FY22 Allocations for JAG Crisis Intervention Funding

States that are bolded and starred* have Extreme Risk Laws.

StateTOTAL ALLOCATIONFY2022 PercentageNew Total AllocationNew Allocation by Year
Alabama$3,687,9181.98%$14,886,356$2,977,271
Alaska$922,2450.50%$3,722,661$744,532
Arizona$4,183,5592.25%$16,887,021$3,377,404
Arkansas$2,395,7311.29%$9,670,417$1,934,083
California*$19,663,95110.58%$79,373,940$15,874,788
Colorado*$3,422,6611.84%$13,815,641$2,763,128
Connecticut*$1,680,7100.90%$6,784,220$1,356,844
Delaware*$1,006,6560.54%$4,063,388$812,678
Florida*$11,281,1546.07%$45,536,609$9,107,322
Georgia$5,725,5563.08%$23,111,324$4,622,265
Hawaii*$928,4840.50%$3,747,845$749,569
Idaho$1,254,4660.68%$5,063,678$1,012,736
Illinois*$6,931,1953.73%$27,977,910$5,595,582
Indiana*$3,626,8801.95%$14,639,975$2,927,995
Iowa$1,964,0931.06%$7,928,102$1,585,620
Kansas$2,156,2051.16%$8,703,566$1,740,713
Kentucky$2,282,0451.23%$9,211,521$1,842,304
Louisiana$3,514,0421.89%$14,184,502$2,836,900
Maine$1,032,9660.56%$4,169,588$833,918
Maryland*$3,699,6181.99%$14,933,584$2,986,717
Massachusetts*$3,503,3161.89%$14,141,207$2,828,241
Michigan$6,033,0333.25%$24,352,461$4,870,492
Minnesota$2,868,3921.54%$11,578,323$2,315,665
Mississippi$1,918,6641.03%$7,744,726$1,548,945
Missouri$4,567,3662.46%$18,436,266$3,687,253
Montana$1,071,7540.58%$4,326,157$865,231
Nebraska$1,340,2750.72%$5,410,047$1,082,009
Nevada*$2,176,6921.17%$8,786,262$1,757,252
New Hampshire$1,098,7030.59%$4,434,937$886,987
New Jersey*$3,969,0172.14%$16,021,018$3,204,204
New Mexico*$1,953,3031.05%$7,884,548$1,576,910
New York*$9,231,2394.97%$37,262,085$7,452,417
North Carolina$5,530,6302.98%$22,324,501$4,464,900
North Dakota$487,9220.26%$1,969,507$393,901
Ohio$6,202,0553.34%$25,034,722$5,006,944
Oklahoma$2,940,6391.58%$11,869,949$2,373,990
Oregon*$2,264,0471.22%$9,138,872$1,827,774
Pennsylvania$6,554,8383.53%$26,458,738$5,291,748
Rhode Island*$855,2450.46%$3,452,214$690,443
South Carolina$3,634,4261.96%$14,670,435$2,934,087
South Dakota$1,030,5170.55%$4,159,703$831,941
Tennessee$5,310,9792.86%$21,437,875$4,287,575
Texas$14,989,2658.07%$60,504,475$12,100,895
Utah$1,771,5910.95%$7,151,063$1,430,213
Vermont*$520,0360.28%$2,099,136$419,827
Virginia*$3,990,3662.15%$16,107,194$3,221,439
Washington*$3,721,5622.00%$15,022,161$3,004,432
West Virginia$1,244,4700.67%$5,023,329$1,004,666
Wisconsin$3,128,9821.68%$12,630,200$2,526,040
Wyoming$534,1330.29%$2,156,039$431,208
Total$185,803,592100.00%$750,000,000$150,000,000

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