5 surprising things to know about firearm storage

Public Health’s LOCK-IT-UP program has spent some time talking to gun owners to learn what they think about firearm storage and safety. We know that more than half of gun owners in King County are already locking their firearms up when they aren’t in use, and we were curious about what helped them make that choice. We also wanted to know why some gun owners aren’t comfortable locking their firearms.

We are so grateful for the folks who weighed in online and in-person. Here are five things we think all gun owners should know about locking up firearms – you may be surprised by what you learn!

    1. Adolescents with access to firearms are 2.6 times as likely to die by suicide as adolescents without access to firearms.
      Even teenagers who have been raised to practice good firearm safety can feel momentarily desperate and act impulsively. Restricting adolescents’ access to a family’s firearms by using a password-protected lock box can save their lives.
    2. A locked lock box can be opened in as few as 3 seconds.
      Here’s a video that shows the speed and ease with which you can open several different styles of lock boxes. We can’t endorse any of the specific products included in the video, but we do endorse exploring different options and finding the one that fits your needs best.
    3. Lock boxes can go in cars, too.
      Even if you have a concealed pistol license, you can’t legally take your firearm everywhere. King County’s sports stadiums, schools, government facilities, and even some bars and restaurants prohibit concealed carry. When you are visiting places that don’t allow firearms, keep your guns locked up at home or in your car. A gun hidden under your seat or in the glove box won’t stop a thief, but a secured lock box will.
    4. Lock boxes can be bolted to furniture or cars.
      We heard concerns that lock boxes containing firearms can be easily stolen and broken into later – leaving owners without their guns or their storage device. Most lock boxes can be bolted or cabled to furniture and in cars, making theft much more difficult.
    5. Free and low-cost lock boxes are available in King County.
      As part of our LOCK-IT-UP program, we partner with firearm retailers to make it easier and less costly for King County residents to safety store their firearms. Learn more about which safe storage device is right for you and find our list of retailers that currently offer discounts here. Seattle Children’s Hospital and Harborview also host frequent lock box give-aways. Find out about these events here.

Bottom line – locking up a firearm is simple. A locked firearm is secure from misuse, and it’s also ready when you need it. For more information, visit www.lockitup.org.

Originally posted on October 24, 2018.

5 thoughts on “5 surprising things to know about firearm storage

  1. The operational security concerns inside my private residence are not the concern of anyone in or at any Government agency. PERIOD.

  2. We gun 9wners understand gun safety much better than sudo-academics with no practical experience. Besides Hellee v. DC had a few words to say on this. So befor you assume we are idiots perhaps educate your selves on gun ownerd.

  3. We gun owners understand gun safety much better than sudo-academics with no practical experience. Besides Hellee v. DC had a few words to say on this. So befor you assume we are idiots perhaps educate your selves on gun ownerd.

  4. The safest place for a gun when you’re not asleep is ON YOU. And, if you live alone or with other trained adults that aren’t at risk of suicide or domestic violence there’s no need to lock up the gun at night, having the residence locked and the firearm close at hand is safest. You may not have an extra three seconds to open a lockbox. And a final note, this is completely outside the health departments realm of authority, and waste of taxpayer money to do these interviews on the public dime and prepare this presentation. Civil constructive responses welcome to withamk@gmail.com.

  5. Youtube is full of videos on how to break into locked storage containers. With one channel showing how to break into every style of gun lock…easily. Your comment on restraining cables is misinformed. They only work if the thief doesn’t bring along readily available lineman’s pliers or cable cutters…or the more popular 4″ angle grinder, battery powered of course. Which opens every container, up to and including safes.

    The real question that needs to be asked is why are you even bothering with this bs. Is it for political points, to look good on tv? If you are worried about the theft of a firearm. Then why don’t you lock up the folks that steal them. The first time that is, not the third. The State and Counties bs zero youth lock up policy is putting folks at risk of injury and death. Maybe you should add public policy, malfeasance/misfeasance as a cause of death to the books.

    I think public health king county/seattle should publicly explain to the folks that live here. Why they don’t lock up youths with known ties to gangs that enjoy stealing firearms. Why does it take three chances before jail time is required by sentencing guidelines.

    I think you folks need some classes in “Best Practices” and how to achieve them. By the way this includes all aspects of your organization. I have to work around the needles and human waste, along with the assorted third world diseases that the homeless bring to town.

    And one final comment to the doctors who may read this. Thanks for prescribing drugs that induce suicidal/homicidal thoughts and actions. And bonus point for zero over site of the patient after prescribing such meds. Its so much fun to have your parent tell you they want to shoot everyone at work, after they had surgery. And after calling the surgeon, he tells you its the patient not the meds. Guess what, the nurses guide to drugs says I am right and he was wrong. Maybe it is time to hold doctors responsible for the actions of patients who receive meds with lethal side effects. Sounds like a citizens initiative to me.

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