Safe storage laws save lives. They keep firearms out of the hands of individuals who don’t know how to operate them and reduce the chance of accidental injury or death. Federal regulations only cover the transfer of firearms from a licensed dealer. Other rules and regulations are decided at the state and local level. Whether you own a gun, are looking to purchase one, or you are simply a concerned citizen, it is important to be aware of the safe storage laws that apply where you live.
1. To Be a Responsible Gun Owner
When you choose to own a firearm, you take on responsibility for it. That includes storing and transporting it safely. According to a 2019 APM Research Lab survey, an overwhelming majority of Americans—both gun owners and non-gun owners—support laws concerning gun storage. What about when a gun isn’t being stored, though?
State laws also dictate how you can legally carry and transport your firearm. In some jurisdictions, open carry is an option for everyone. In others, it is not allowed at all. Most states have laws that regulate who can carry a concealed weapon. If you do decide to go this route, explore the many safe and responsible options like pocket holsters and gun concealment purses.
2. To Keep Children Safe
There are several laws that address gun storage and child safety. Child access laws may lower rates of suicide, violent crime, and unintentional injury or death among children under the age of 17. Increased safety should be reason enough for you to find out what is required in your sate if there are children in your household or that visit often. As a parent, you should know gun storage laws in your state even if you don’t own a gun. Your children may visit a friend whose parents do, and it is your responsibility to ensure they are following any requirements.
3. To Comply With Legal Requirements
Certain people are prevented by law from possessing a firearm. Depending on the state, this may be individuals with previous felony convictions, domestic abuse violations, or certain mental health conditions. You could potentially be held liable if you allow someone who meets these criteria to access your gun. In some states, it is a criminal offense. Know what is expected of you so you can steer clear of legal trouble or increased liability.
There are some situations that carry an extra responsibility. Owning a gun is one of them. Learning and following safe storage laws in your state help keep people safe while ensuring you comply with any legal requirements.