SPRINGFIELD – Under a newly-signed law sponsored by State Senator Karina Villa (D-West Chicago), school boards across the state will have the option to include safe firearm storage in their safety education curriculum.
“Guns are the leading cause of death of children in Illinois,” Villa said. “By giving students the opportunity to learn about safe, responsible firearm ownership, we are giving them the tools to protect themselves and others.”
Under House Bill 5193, safe gun storage will be added to existing safety education instruction taught in schools in Illinois. Automobile safety, CPR training, safety in the home, and safety while carrying out vocational training or work are all examples of what is already included in statewide safety education curriculum.
Under current law, when not in use, firearm owners in Illinois must keep their guns temporarily inoperable with a designated device or mechanism, kept in a securely locked container, or in a location that a minor under the age of 14 would not reasonably have access to. House Bill 5193 would bring this information to classrooms discussing safety in the home in an effort to raise awareness of firearm safety among young adults and to educate them about responsible firearm ownership.
Schools are not mandated to teach safety education, but if they elect to offer it they are required to teach all existing components.
“When firearms are not stored safely and securely, there is always a chance they may fall into the wrong hands, whether that be the hands of small children who don’t understand, or the hands of those who may be a danger to themselves or others,” Villa said. “Promoting positive messages about proper gun storage has the potential to save lives.”
The law goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2023.