As the coronavirus disease sweeps across Asia and America, government and health officials are increasingly urging residents to maintain high levels of hygiene and practice social distancing to slow the spread. As families try to manage the tremendous disruptions to daily life with no certainty to when all these will end, the coronavirus presents a greater risk to America’s young population: unsecured firearms at home.
Research studies show that nearly 4.6 million teens and children in the US live in homes where they can easily access loaded guns. Unsecured guns at home have resulted in suicide and unintentional shootings.
We must secure our firearms to protect the millions of young children and teens who are spending a lot of time at home. As reported in some college paper help reports, you can practice safe gun storage by training and keeping your firearms unloaded and secured, with ammunition stored in other compartments. When you do this, you’ll greatly reduce the risk of firearm suicide and unintentional shootings thus saving lives.
On 25th January 2020, a young child in Louisiana discovered an unsecured gun in the house and killed himself. The day before, another young child across town shot his hand.
These demonstrations show that young children are strong enough to use some types of handguns. One study showed that 73 percent of children under ten years of age living in homes with firearms reported knowing where their parents stored firearms. 36 percent of these children admitted to having handled the firearms in the past without their parents’ knowledge.
When teens and children have easy access to firearms, tragedies are inevitable. A study conducted by the CDC found that 888 children and teenagers died from unintentional shootings between 2009 and 2018 in the US alone. Children between age five and fourteen are more likely to kill or injure themselves in the US than in other developed countries.
Unsecured guns at home
Most young and old people are experiencing anxiety and depression at the moment due to financial strain, fear of infection, isolation, and other stressors related to the pandemic. Studies show that easy access to firearms increases significantly during a crisis. And this increases the risk of death through suicide.
Studies have shown that the risk of suicide among children and teens is much higher in homes where firearms are kept unlocked and loaded. Youth suicide has been on the rise in recent years thanks to unsecured firearms.
According to the CDC, youth firearm suicide has been rising dramatically since 2007. Gun suicides among the elderly have also risen by 60 percent. With the temporary closure of learning institutions, young adults around the world are returning to homes with unsecured guns. And this puts their lives at great risk.
Research studies show that young adults experience the highest rates of mental illnesses. Suicide attempts that result in treatment in a health facility or death are highest between the ages of sixteen and twenty.
Suicide attempts using firearms increase the chances of death by 80 percent. It’s important to ensure that firearms don’t fall into the wrong hands during a crisis. Here are a few practical tips that will help you store your firearms safely to save lives.
Firearm Safety at home
These days, children and teens want to try out new things even if they’ve been told a zillion times that it’s wrong or dangerous. The Don’t Touch or Don’t Do Policy does not work for the majority of people around the world today especially when it comes to firearms. Taking a firearms training class will help you understand how to handle different types of guns and the best way to store them at home.
There is no ideal storage solution for everyone since we are all unique. And our needs are different. Whichever solution you choose; it has to provide adequate protection to prevent unauthorized users from accessing your firearms. You are the one who ultimately chooses the ideal storage system for your firearms.
Your gun storage system will be determined by the gun you own, the people you live with, and how much money you can afford. For instance, collectors might go for increased storage capacity. Competitors may prioritize portability for traveling to events around the world.
Those who keep firearms for defense will prioritize speed of access. Since firearms owners have different missions to fulfill, it’s important to take a step back and figure out which storage device is best for you. Here are some of the common storage options available today:
1. Trigger locks
A trigger lock is a simple and affordable solution for preventing a firearm from being loaded or landing in the wrong hands. Today, most new guns are sold with a trigger lock in the box by manufacturers or dealers.
Cable locks usually block the action of shotguns and rifles. They also prevent a semi-automatic pistol’s magazine from being loaded. The cable is usually looped through the barrel of revolvers to prevent the closure of the cylinder.
If a gun lock is not available an ordinary padlock can be used. Trigger locks are usually cheap (around $20). You can also get one for free through community programs. When installed properly, they can prevent unintentional discharge.
2. Gun Cases
Gun cases are usually available at most sporting goods stores in different shapes, material options, and sizes to fit every kind of firearm. The two most common case options include fabric sleeves and plastic starting from $10. This storage protects firearms from damage.
Most cases can be legally locked for firearm transportation to shooting events. All you need is a padlock to keep your firearms secure. Locked gun cases represent a convenient and secure storage method. A locked case will keep small children and teens from handling a firearm.
3. Strong boxes
Strong boxes are among the most common solutions provided by manufacturers to eliminate gun theft and provide gun finish protection features of a gun cabinet. The prices of these units vary from $50 to $300 depending on the level of technology embedded into the system. Strong boxes are ideal for people who want quick access to their firearms for self-defense.
It’s difficult to beat the lock options and configurations that come with strong boxes. Secure Firearms Products provides some of the best security cases for people who travel regularly. These metallic cases feature heavy-duty plated steel latches, welded corners, hardened studs, and high-security locks.
Factors to consider when investing in gun storage tools:
- Size: The larger the size of firearms safety, the more it costs. You can save a lot of money by purchasing the interior safe space that you need. It’s common for first-time buyers to underestimate how much storage space they’ll need. And this results in extra expenses along the way.
Avoid small storage spaces. Take a look at the items that you’ll keep in the safe. Remember, you have to fit your gun, ammunition, and magazines. Add other non-shooting valuables that will end up in storage such as documents, jewelry, and computer hard drives. You’ll be amazed by the amount of storage you’ll need.
- Thickness: the toughness of your safe is usually quantified by the amount of steel used in its construction. The thicker the material, the more it will cost. Steel is usually gauged by a reverse scale. The smaller the number, the thicker the metal.
During this pandemic, everyone is being called on to change their behavior for the safety of others. If you store firearms in your house, you need to protect your loved ones by training and investing in quality storage options to avoid accidents and deaths.