Firearm-related injuries and deaths are a public health crisis, especially for children and teens. Children and teens are a high risk group for unintentional firearm injury and death as well as firearm suicide, and more than 4 and a half million children live in a household with an insecurely stored firearm. In this section, find resources for parents and other family members for best firearm storage practices.

To learn more about methods of safe firearm storage, click here:

The Importance of Safe Household Firearm Storage

Evidence suggests that safe firearm storage can prevent injury and death in children and teens.

Over one-third of adolescents in a firearm-owning household report being able to access a loaded firearm within 5 minutes. When both firearms and ammunition are stored safely, children have a 78% lower risk of self-inflicted firearm injuries and an 85% lower risk of unintentional firearm injuries. One study estimated that if half of households with unlocked guns switched to locking them, one third of youth gun suicides and unintentional deaths could be prevented. Around 75% of perpetrators of school shootings obtained their firearm from their home or the home of a close relative. Storing firearms unloaded, separate from ammunition, and locked is the best method to prevent tragedy when firearms are stored in a home where children and teens are present.

In the resources below, learn more about what parents and family members can do to securely store firearms and prevent unauthorized access by children or other prohibited persons.

Having Conversations About Safe Firearm Storage

It is important that families and caregivers have conversations with their children about firearm safety. Parents and caregivers should also have discussions with other households about firearm ownership and storage practices before a child enters the home. The resources listed below offer guidance on initiating and maintaining those conversations:

This article from John Hopkins School of Public Health offers guidance on starting conversations with other caregivers about the presence and storage of firearms in the home. The article provides tips on making these conversations more comfortable and approachable while still ensuring the safety and comfort of children when they enter another home.

This guide explains the importance of asking family, friends, and other community members about their firearm storage. Caregivers and other community members can also find tips on how to ask the questions that help keep kids safe.

This resource from the Be SMART Program offers suggestions on how to talk to young children and adolescents about firearm safety, explains the risk of unintentional firearm injury in children, and stresses the importance of safe firearm storage.

Crisis Help Resources for Family and Household Members

The APA offers information about risk factors, warning signs, and protective factors for suicide, and what you personally can do to support someone experiencing suicidal thoughts

The Suicide and Crisis Lifeline Center provides 24/7 free and confidential support for people in distress, and resources for individuals and family members on prevention

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has a 24/7 free, confidential helpline for individuals and families experiencing mental health challenges

Other Safe Storage Resources for Families

Project ChildSafe is a firearm safety education program that encourages responsible and safe firearm storage, offers guidance on discussing firearm safety with children, and provides access to free firearm safety kits which include a cable-style gun lock.

End Family Fire focuses on reducing firearm-related injuries that result from access to insecurely stored firearms in the home. This resource explains the role of safe firearm storage in the home, provides guidance on safe firearm storage options, and offers personal testimonies to the importance of safe storage.

 The BulletPoint Projects explains the importance of safe firearm storage, offers information on various methods of safe storage, and breaks down some important factors to consider when determining what safe storage method is most appropriate.

This resource from Sandy Hook Promise provides answers to common questions about what safe storage means, explains the role of safe storage in violence prevention, and addresses potential concerns associated with safe storage.

If you are in immediate danger, please call 911.

If you are experiencing a crisis, please text or call 988.

The content of this website is not legal advice and is only intended for general informational purposes. If you need legal advice, please contact an attorney.