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.
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
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.
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.
68% of school shooters acquired the gun (or guns) used in their attacks from their own home or that of a relative."
U.S. Department of Education and Secret Service – Safe School Initiative Report
Additional Statistics and Research
4.6 million U.S. children live in a home in which at least one firearm is stored loaded and unlocked.
Firearm Storage in Gun-Owning Households with Children: Results of a 2015 National Survey
Over 58,000 Oregon children live in homes with loaded firearms, and over 26,000 of those homes store their guns unlocked.
CD Summary: Private Guns, Public Health: Firearm Injury in Oregon