For state Sen. Jack Scott (D-Glendale), handgun safety is not all
that different from driver’s safety.
Scott drew the connection between handgun safety and seat belts
Monday as he urged states to pass legislation similar to SB 489,
which requires gun manufacturers to include chamber load indicators
and magazine disconnect safety mechanisms on new guns by 2006.
Outgoing Gov. Gray Davis has signed the bill, which Scott and
backers of the law touted in a news conference Monday outside the
emergency room at Providence St. Joseph Medical Center.
“We’ve made cars safer,” he said. “We can do the same things with
An indicator lets someone holding a handgun know whether the
chamber is loaded, Scott said. The disconnect safety prevents the gun
from firing when its ammunition magazine is removed.
He and others who spoke at the conference Monday said the industry
has had the technology to add the measures for many years.
“We want to see the rest of the country follow our lead in this
matter,” said Scott, who lost his 27-year-old son Adam on Oct. 23,
1993, to an accidental gunshot.
Joan Hodgman, professor of pediatrics at the USC School of
Medicine and chairman of the Violence Prevention Committee for the
American Academy of Pediatricians, said the bill could help prevent
“We’re not against guns, but we are firmly in favor of the
sensible management of a gun,” she said. “You can see it if you walk
into an emergency room or when you read the paper.”
Representatives from groups including the Brady Campaign, the
Million Mom March, the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence and Stop Our
Shootings were on hand with Scott on Monday.
According to the Brady Campaign’s Web site, the firearm death rate
among children up to age 14 is nearly 12 times higher in the U.S.
than in 25 other industrialized nations combined.