Best practice is to have firearms:
- Locked in a secure location.
- Separated from ammunition, with the ammunition also locked up.
Safe storage of firearms in the home can help prevent injuries and deaths that involve a firearm. According to the 2018 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey, 43% of all Vermont households store firearms in or around their home. Research shows that the presence of guns in the home increases the risk(link is external) of dying by suicide. During a suicidal or mental health crisis, you have options for temporarily storing potentially dangerous things(link is external), like firearms or medicines.
- firearm injuries are most often accidental (62%). The remaining firearm injuries are intentional self-harm (25%) or assault (11%).
- most firearm deaths are due to suicide (88%). Homicides account for 9% of firearm deaths.
Talk with your children about gun safety. Be sure that they know to stay away from guns in a friend’s home or elsewhere, and to tell you if they see or find a gun.
Talk with the parents of your children’s friends. Find out if they have guns in their homes. If they do, ask that they keep them unloaded, locked up, and out of children’s reach.