Almost 600,000 guns are stolen each year from private homes, according to poll data on gun-owning households. Many of these guns are then used in crimes. In order to reduce the number of guns in criminal hands, gun owners should be required to have a gun safe that is bolted to the floor. This gun safe needs to be large enough to hold all guns that the owner owns.
An added benefit will be to safeguard family members. Over 1000 people die each year due to unintentional gun injuries; guns kept in the home were 22 times more likely to be used in unintentional shootings, murder or assault, and suicide attempts than in an act of self-defense. Keeping guns locked up will keep guns out of the hands of children and teens as well as become an extra barrier to someone who is in a fit of anger or despondence.
Still an additional benefit will be to reduce the incidence of mass murders. Several mass murders were committed the children of gun owners who took their parent’s guns. This includes the shooting at Columbine that left 12 dead and Sandy Hook that left 26 dead.
American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Medical Association’s recommendations that guns should be stored unloaded and locked in order to reduce the chance of injury or death. The Brady Campaign says gun owners need to be informed of the risks of gun ownership, and legislatures should adopt common sense gun laws that increase the safe and secure storage of firearms in the home. In states that make gun owners criminally liable if someone is injured because a child gains unsupervised access to a gun, unintentional shooting deaths among children younger than 15 years, were reduced by 23% after the law was passed. This percentage may be increased markedly by requiring proof of safe ownership before a person buys a gun (many gun owners don’t think an accident will happen to them and ignore the liability of guns).