Safe Storage of Firearms & Operation ChildSafe

Posted on June 5, 2018

MESSAGE FROM THE MONTGOMERY TWP. POLICE DEPARTMENT 

In light of recent horrific shootings in the nation, the Police Department would like to remind all residents of the importance of safe firearms storage.

It has been found that there is a gun in approximately one in three U.S. households with children.[1] Further, every day seven children and teens (ages 0-19) die from gun violence, either from murder or suicide.[2] Unintentional shootings cause a number of firearm-related deaths among children and “an underestimation of children’s ability to gain access to a firearm in the home is a common problem.”[3]

If you keep a firearm in your home, there are important steps you can take to reduce the risk of unintentional firearm-related death and injury in children, and the risk of unauthorized persons from accessing your firearm. They include:

  • Firearms should be stored in a location that is inaccessible to children and other unauthorized persons. According to the Nationwide Children’s Hospital, “Most parents with guns think their children do not know where they hide them. However, 8 in 10 first graders know where their parents’ guns are hidden.”[4]
  • Store firearms in a locked cabinet, safe, gun vault or storage case.
  • Ammunition should be stored in a locked location, apart from guns.
  • Storage keys and lock combinations should be inaccessible to children and other unauthorized persons.
  • Use safety devices, such as trigger or cable locks, that prevent guns from being loaded or fired by an unauthorized user.
  • Obtain training on the safe handling and storage of firearms.

Finally, please bear in mind that under the New Jersey Code of Criminal Justice, you may be convicted of a disorderly persons offense if a minor gains access to a loaded firearm in your premises. N.J.S.A. 2C:58-15.

In the spirit of promoting safety, Montgomery Police Department is partnering with the Health Department on Project ChildSafe.  Project ChildSafe provides no-cost  gun locks for firearm owners to prevent their use by children or unauthorized persons, as well as educational material for gun owners on preventing accidents.  The free locks are available for pickup at the Health Department during regular business hours.  Project ChildSafe is an initiative of the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

Source: Montgomery Twp. Police Dept. & Montgomery Twp. Health Dept., Originally Published April 2, 2018

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[1] Nationwide Children’s Hospital – https://www.nationwidechildrens.org/cirp-gun-safety

The Brady Campaign – http://www.bradycampaign.org/key-gun-violence-statistics

 

[2] The Brady Campaign – http://www.bradycampaign.org/key-gun-violence-statistics

 

[3] Nationwide Children’s Hospital – http://healthlibrary.nationwidechildrens.org/Library/Encyclopedia/85,P00833

 

[4] Nationwide Children’s Hospital – https://www.nationwidechildrens.org/cirp-gun-safety