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Lock It Up – Gun Storage Safety is a Matter of Life and Death

March 24, 2014
By
Original Author: Keren Perles

SB 567 clarifies the meaning of the word "shotgun" in existing California gun-control statutes. It is intended to bring newer models of rifled-bore shotguns under the scope of the existing California assault weapons ban.

Research shows that children who live in homes where guns are hidden are almost always aware of where the guns are, even if the parents think the children don’t know

Cathie Whittenburg

communications head

States United to Prevent Gun Violence

Even if your child is fully educated about firearm safety, keep in mind that it is not your child’s responsibility to keep herself safe from guns. Adults need to take active steps to reduce the risk that kids will come into contact with firearms.

According to Kristen Rand, Legislative Director at the Violence Policy Center, the best approach parents can take for gun safety is to make sure to eliminate all firearms from the home. (For example, the American Academy of Pediatrics strongly discourages parents from retaining any guns in a home containing children.) If you do own a gun, take these important steps to ensuring that children – your own and others – will remain safe.

Secure it Safely

If you own a gun, make sure that it is stored securely. Hiding a gun is never a safe alternative to proper storage, says Bill Brassard, senior director of communications at the National Shooting Sports Foundation. “Research shows that children who live in homes where guns are hidden are almost always aware of where the guns are, even if the parents think the children don’t know,” explains Cathie Whittenburg, communications head of the organization States United to Prevent Gun Violence.

Choose a Secure Locking Method

Choose a secure method of storage that works for your choice of firearms, such as a locked cabinet, a safe, or a gun vault. “Kids find — and play with – everything,” says Ken McGreevy, Firearms Instructor for the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department and for The Department of Homeland Security, and owner of the firearms training school Inland Training. “Anything you don’t want your kids playing with must be locked up. That means locked up well. Using a 50-cent luggage lock on a bag won’t get it – kids are very determined. Give them an hour with a paper clip, and that lock will be open. That same hour, and they’ll open that combination lock, too. You have to lock these things up like your children’s lives depend on it, because they do.”

Use a Gun Lock

Consider securing firearms with a gun lock, which attaches to the gun and prevents it from firing. This is not an alternative to locking up the gun; rather, it provides an extra layer of security.

Ammo goes in different location 

Store the ammunition in a separate locked location.