Safe gun storage prevents gun violence by making it much harder for someone to gain unauthorized access to a firearm. When a gun is unsafely stored, it increases the risk that a child or other unauthorized user will use it to cause harm to themselves or others.


Unintentional Shootings

A gun in the hands of someone not trained to use it is inherently dangerous, particularly when they are a young child. Since 2000, 12 Oregon children have died in unintentional shootings. (Oregon Vital Statistics Annual Report)  Even one child lost to gun violence is too many!

When guns are securely stored, it prevents unintended access and makes homes safer for children.

ABC’s 20/20 Report on Young Children and Guns


Gun Suicides

When people seeking to take their own life can access a gun, it significantly increases the likelihood of success. A firearm increases both the speed and lethality when someone attempts suicide, critical factors given that suicide is frequently an impulsive decision. Every step between impulse and action gives someone in crisis valuable time to get the help they need.

The suicide rate decreases about 10 percent if you keep a gun in your house unloaded. And then it decreases another 10 percent if you keep it locked and unloaded, and then another 10 percent if you keep it locked, unloaded, and keep the ammunition locked somewhere else. If you prolong the time that it takes someone to kill themselves, there’s more time for them to change their minds.
— Professor Liza Gold, Georgetown University School of Medicine*

School Shootings


Oregon has experienced several tragic shootings at our schools and colleges in the past two decades. In many cases, the shooter obtained the gun from their own home or the home of a relative. Safe storage makes it harder for an individual planning a school shooting to access a firearm.

Additional Statistics and Research