Basic Steps for Safe Firearm Storage

There are several basic steps to firearm safe storage that all firearm owners should follow:

  1. Store firearms unloaded.
  2. Store firearms and ammo locked up, and separate from each other.
  3. Assume that children know the location of firearms and ammunition in the home.
  4. Keep the keys or combinations to firearm locking devices inaccessible to children and other high-risk people.
  5. Ask if there is a firearm where children play, whether at the patient’s home, or in someone else’s home.

About Gun Locking Devices

Safe gun storage is important for keeping guns out of the wrong hands. The safest way to store guns is unloaded and definitely secured with a locking device.

Gun owners can choose from a variety of locking devices, including trigger locks, cable locks, lock boxes, and gun safes. Cable locks and lock boxes are often most affordable, and some police departments have programs to distribute these types of locking devices for free.

Which locking device is appropriate will depend on the type and intended use of the gun being secured. For example, a gun kept in the home for self-defense might be best kept in a lock box that can be quickly opened with a code or using fingerprint technology.

If you're interested in more detail on safe storage devices, the King County Department of Health's LOK-IT-UP Campaign lists safe storage devices, how they work, their price ranges, and advantages and disadvantages.

You can also visit the WYCD Resources page for direction to more materials on safe storage.