Today, Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action applauded the Biden-Harris administration’s announcement of a new rule to promote the secure storage of firearms in the home. The new rule implements the existing requirement that federal firearms licensees that sell firearms to the public must certify that they have secure gun storage and safety devices available as well. This follows through on the Comprehensive Suicide Prevention Strategy from November which announced steps that will make it easier for customers to obtain secure gun storage or safety devices from gun dealers, and promote best practices for federal firearms dealers, including customer education regarding safety and security for firearms owners. The administration also published a Best Practices Guide for federal firearms licensees (FFLs).
“Today’s actions by the Biden-Harris administration to promote safe storage practices is a necessary and important step to reduce gun violence,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “We applaud the Biden-Harris administration for taking this important step and we look forward to it making more critical progress on gun safety in the new year.”
“With its commitment to common sense policies that save lives like secure storage, the Biden-Harris Administration continues to lead on gun safety,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action. “Owning a gun comes with great responsibilities, including to ensure those who shouldn’t have access to guns aren’t able to get their hands on one. This rule is a welcome step in the ongoing work to increase education, awareness, and access to gun locks and secure storage devices.”
Last year, after Everytown shared a detailed list of recommendations with the Biden-Harris administration, it announced a comprehensive suicide prevention plan that incorporated many of Everytown’s suggestions.
Every year, hundreds of American children gain access to firearms and unintentionally shoot themselves or someone else. Between March and December of 2020, there was a 31 percent increase in unintentional shooting deaths by children of themselves and others, compared to the same time period in 2019. According to the Not An Accident Index, there have been at least 330 unintentional shootings by children under age 18 in the U.S. this year, resulting in 135 deaths and 212 injuries nationally.
Secure firearm storage plays a vital role in reducing unintentional shootings and gun suicide. Research shows that to protect children and teens, gun owners should store guns unloaded, locked, and separate from ammunition. An estimated 54 percent of gun owners don’t lock all of their guns securely, and it’s estimated that 5.4 million children live in a home with at least one unlocked and loaded gun.