- Jun 23, 2013
Gun storage laws save lives, so why don't we have more of them?
The argument against safe-storage laws by gun advocates is that when the bad man breaks into the house, a trigger lock or a gun in a locked cabinet makes the weapon useless for self-defense. But that’s not the case. Vendors have designed trigger locks and gun safes that users can quickly access. Besides, unsecured guns are much more likely to be fired accidentally or used in a suicide than they are in self-defense. Also, unsecured firearms in the home are more likely to get stolen in a burglary. In fact, gun thefts from cars, homes and gun dealers are a main source of black-market gun sales. So failing to secure firearms increases chances of accidental deaths and suicides, including among children, and increases the chances a lawfully purchased firearm will find its way to violent criminals. The weight of evidence in favor of requiring owners to properly secure their firearms is overwhelming.
Of course, enforcement is an issue, and often law enforcement won’t know that a storage law has been violated until someone dies. But in adopting such laws society sends a message about what behavior we expect. As long as Americans insist on owning firearms, it is reasonable for the rest of us to insist that they do so safely.