County Council Passes Two Bills Related to Youth Safety

The County Council yesterday unanimously passed two bills intended to increase safety conditions for the county’s young population.

One is Bill 4-21, Weapons – Protection of Minors and Public Places – Restrictions Against Ghost Guns and Undetectable Guns, known as the “Ghost Guns Bill.”

“Ghost guns” are undetectable, lack serial numbers and thus are untraceable, and are frequently built by unlicensed people, some using 3D printers. They are often sold on the internet and are largely unregulated.

“In the past year, ghost gun sales have skyrocketed across the country, including in Montgomery County. The immediate accessibility and the obscurity of ghost gun detection in areas of public assembly poses an absolute threat to the safety of our community,” Council Vice President Gabe Albornoz (D-At Large), the lead sponsor, said in a press release.

“We know that gun violence does not distinguish boundaries, however, it is our moral responsibility to implement measures that will safeguard our youth, residents, and families from immediate harm,” he continued.

The ghost guns bill would prohibits the use and sale of ghost guns to the greatest extent possible consistent with state law, which does permit counties to regulate the sale, use, or transfer of firearms with respect to minors and within 100 yards of a place of public assembly.

The Ghost Guns Bill would also do the following, according to the release:

  • Define terms related to firearm laws
  • Restrict the possession, use, sale, and transfer of ghost guns, undetectable guns, and certain other firearms with respect to minors;
  • Require the county police department to submit an annual report to the County Executive and the County Council regarding the availability and use of ghost guns and undetectable guns in the county, and
  • Generally amend the law regarding firearms and other weapons.

The second safety-related bill the council passed would require landlords of multifamily buildings to install window guards to protect children from the risk of falling.

Bill-51-20 – Landlord-Tenant Relations – Window Guards would mandate a window guard in each window of a habitable room under certain circumstances, such as if a child younger than 11 lives there, or if a tenant of the dwelling requests in writing the installation of window guards.

The landlord would not be permitted to charge the tenant to install or maintain the guards.

“No parent should ever have to worry about a child falling from an apartment window. But, tragically, families in our own community have experienced severe injuries or death of a child due to window falls,” Council President Tom Hucker (D-District 5), the lead sponsor, said in a press release.

According to the release, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital reports that, “Each year in the U.S. 15 to 20 children under the age of 11 die and nearly 15,000 are injured because of falls from windows.”

“Ghost guns” by simonov is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

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