Safe Firearm Storage
The Department of Public Safety wants to remind firearm owners that it is your responsibility to ensure that guns in your home are always stored where they are inaccessible to children, at-risk persons or other unauthorized persons.
Hiding a gun in a closet, drawer or similar location is not safe storage.
Safe storage is employing precautions and multiple safeguards that provide an additional barrier against unauthorized use.
The storage method chosen must provide an adequate level of protection to prevent unauthorized persons from accessing the firearms
To prevent injury or death caused by improper storage of guns in a home where children are likely to be present, you should store all guns unloaded, lock them with a firearms safety device and store them in a locked container.
As appropriate for your situation, store ammunition, in a separate securely locked container.
Different types of locking mechanisms offer varying degrees of security and accessibility.
Some storage methods include keyed locks, combination locks, lock boxes, firearm safes, etc
KEY GUIDELINES FOR SAFE STORAGE INCLUDE:
- Unloaded firearms should be stored in a locked cabinet, safe, gun vault or storage case. The storage location should be inaccessible to children.
- Gun locking devices render firearms inoperable and can be used in addition to locked storage. If firearms are disassembled, parts should be securely stored in separate locations.
- As appropriate for your situation, ammunition should be stored in a locked location separate from firearms.
- Thoroughly double check firearms to confirm that they are unloaded when you remove them from storage. Accidents could occur if a family member borrows a gun and returns it to storage while still loaded.
A MESSAGE FOR YOUR CHILDREN
Children and adolescents are naturally curious about firearms and, as a result, may be tempted to “play” with a firearm they find. Make sure young people in your home are aware of and understand these safety guidelines:
- Don’t go snooping, or allow other kids to go snooping, for guns in the house.
- If you find a gun in your house, or anywhere else, STOP! Do not touch it or allow anyone else to. Leave the area and be sure to immediately tell an adult.
- Even if a gun looks like a toy, don’t touch it. Some real guns look like toy guns, so don’t take a chance. Leave the area and immediately tell an adult.
FIREARM SUICIDE PREVENTION
For gun owners, protecting your family involves more than keeping them safe from accident or attack.
It also involves being aware of the warning signs of suicide and the steps to prevent it.
ACCESS PREVENTION: IS YOUR SAFETY ON?
Store guns safely and securely when not in use.
Change your gun locks if necessary, and make sure the keys and combination aren’t accessible.
Lock guns and ammo separately, or don’t keep ammunition in the home at all.
Ask to temporarily keep the keys to any gun of a friend who is struggling.
Temporarily store firearms off-site until the situation improves, perhaps at a friend or relative’s house.
Gun shops and law enforcement may offer storage options.
Visit utahsuicideprevention.org for more information.