Safety First: Storing your guns safely and properly
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Whether for hunting, protection, or anything in between, responsible gun ownership requires adequate gun storage.
“If you own a firearm, you need to be safe with that firearm you need to know where it is,” said Brian Sisson, owner of The Range in Ballantyne. “You need to know who has access to it. You need to make sure anybody who does have access to it is secure, knows how to handle the firearm, knows how to deal with it if it’s loaded.”
Too often, guns are stolen from unlocked vehicles, or end up in the hands of children because they weren’t properly stored.
“Irresponsible gun ownership can lead to one very bad thing of somebody dying, and that’s what needs to be taken into consideration,” said WBTV Security Analyst Karl de la Guerra.
According to Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, every 2.5 days an American child or teen was killed by an unintentional gun injury.
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With every death comes the same question: where did the gun come from?
Johns Hopkins also reports only 46% gun owners say they store all their firearms safely.
“Common sense tells us that we have to lock our firearms up when they’re around children,” said De la Guerra. Yet what do we see every month on the news? These incidents are still happening.”
Late last year, 4-year-old Demario Warren fatally shot himself in Charlotte. The child got his hands on a gun that belongs to his father, who now faces charges in his son’s death.
Karl de la Guerra says gun owners should think about the possible consequences of their firearms getting in the wrong hands.
“But it’s more than just the criminal penalties, can you imagine being the one responsible for a child being killed because you didn’t lock up your gun?”
In an effort to prevent tragedies, gun locks are handed out with every single firearm purchase at the Range in Ballantyne. You can also get them from local law enforcement for free.
Sisson’s free locks make the firearm unusable.
“So kids can’t get access to it,” Sisson explained. “The magazine is separate. The only way a child can get to that gun and use that gun is if they have the key and they unlock it and put the magazine in.”
While locks and safes are good options to keep guns out of reach, Sisson says a clamshell vault is a safe way to store a loaded gun, whether at home or in a car.
“It’s just a matter of keeping it safe and keeping it out of the hands of those who don’t need to have it,” said Sisson.
Those vaults also help prevent a crime that has been on the rise in Carolinas: guns being stolen from cars. CMPD and other local law enforcement remind you to keep your cars locked to avoid having your firearms, or any other valuables, stolen from your vehicles.
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