Legal Requirements for Safe Gun Storage
Gun storage laws tend to be [kind of] circumstantial. Right now, we tend to store guns however we please. Under the bed, in the nightstand, or just out on the dinner table if we think they complement the drapes. However, there are laws and these rules should be followed.
Here's what you need to know:
There's a reason we are highlighting the state of Massachusetts. It is the only state [as of the time of this writing] that has an all-encompassing safety-lock law. Any time your firearm is not in use, it must be stored with a safety lock or in a locked storage container. Across the board, Massachusetts has lower rates of suicides and accidents involving firearms. Do you think this has to do with this law?
It seems that most illegally purchased firearms found their way to the street after being stolen from a legal gun-owner's home. This is a huge reason to consider keeping your firearms under lock and key. Even if the law does not require it in your state, it's an extra measure gun owners should take.
Insurance may cover the loss of the firearm, but it won't get that gun out of a criminal's hands. We can hold a debate on whether it's constitutional for the government to tell us how we should and should not be allowed to store our own property, but it's hard to argue that locking your guns away when not in use isn't the worst idea we've ever heard.
Beyond Massachusetts' full-lockdown law, other states have different storage laws. The following states require lockdown under certain circumstances. This would mean if you have someone who is not legally allowed to own a firearm (a roommate or visiting relative for instance) who might be able to access it:
- New York
Next, states that require the sale of a safety lock or other security device with the sale of a firearm by licensed dealer:
- California (all firearms)
- Michigan (all firearms
- New York (all firearms)
- Connecticut (handguns)
- Illinois (handguns)
- Massachusetts (handguns and assault rifles)
- New Jersey (handguns)
- Pennsylvania (handguns)
- Rhode Island (handguns)
There are also specific city, county and state laws that you need to be aware of. As always, remember that this information is based on the law as of the time of this writing. Gun laws are changing all the time, and it is the duty of every firearm owner to educate themselves on the law pertaining to how the second amendment is going to be interpreted federally, and in their own neck of the woods.