Acceptable Firearm Storage Informed by Stakeholders

Acceptable Firearm Storage Informed by Stakeholders

By: Alexandra de Leon Date: October 9th, 2020

An important way to reduce firearm injuries and deaths is safe storage of firearms in the home.  The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends, “the most effective measure to prevent suicide, homicide, and unintentional firearm-related injuries to children and adolescents is the absence of guns from homes.”

The National Shooting Sporting Foundation offers similar safe storage recommendations as AAP, but does not recommend the absence of firearms in homes.

Researchers at the Harborview Injury Prevention & Research Center (HIPRC), UW Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, and the Department of Epidemiology of the University of Washington School of Public Health have written a new call to action  published in the journal Pediatrics. The call emphasizes a need to increase research on effective and acceptable ways to safely store firearms to keep youth safe, while also incorporating voices of firearm stakeholders. It was published today, October 9, 2020.

“We hope that we will be able to make progress to finding a successful solution. This call highlights new avenues to consider, especially since we know safer firearm storage will save lives,” says Frederick Rivara, MD, MPH, Director of the Firearm Injury and Policy Research Program, and core faculty of the Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center.

Some recommendations made by the authors include:

  • Consideration of harm reduction approaches to safe firearm storage to prevent access, especially children who may want to use a firearm to harm themselves.
  • Take personal preferences on safe storage into account, especially since some of the recommendations around safe storage may be unrealistic.
  • A call for research examining innovative and effective ways to store firearms safely that may be more acceptable to firearm stakeholders.

“In order to make progress, we must partner with a variety of stakeholders, firearm-owning parents, and be flexible for how we think about safe storage,” Rivara says.

To read the complete call to action, click here.