Safe Storage Policies and Practices for Firearms Issued to Law Enforcement Officers in WA

Safe Storage Policies and Practices for Firearms Issued to Law Enforcement Officers in WA

By: Alexandra de Leon Date: July 15th, 2020

New research featured in the Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology looks at the issuance of locking devices and safe storage policies among law enforcement agencies in Washington State. HIPRC Core member & HIPRC lead suicide prevention researcher Dr. Christopher DeCou, surveyed and looked at 260 law enforcement agencies in Washington state.

Out of 260 law enforcement agencies, 41% (one hundred and six agencies) responded to this survey. The study shows seventy-six percent of agencies reported issuing locking devices for agency-issued firearms, and 76% of agencies also offered training in safe storage of firearms. Over half of the agencies (52%) offered cable locks, 36% provided gun safes, and 31% of agencies provided more than one type of locking device.

While most agencies in the state provide some sort of safe storage, nearly one fourth still do not. The findings in this study suggest the need for expanding routine issuance of locking devices among agencies in the state and enhancing the types of locking devices available to law enforcement officers. Researchers suggest enhancing existing efforts to include gun safes or other devices that allow for ready access to a firearm intended for self- or home defense may be necessary in lieu of cable locks, which may be a less preferred option for safe storage among law enforcement officers.

Read more on this study: Click Here.

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