Safe Storage

In Washington State, three in every four firearm deaths are suicides. Access to firearms triples the risk of suicide. Empathetic conversation about firearm safety and mental health is associated with more people using safe gun storage, reducing the risk of preventable injury and death. 

Three critical interventions are available to support an individual in crisis:

Washington State’s Safe Storage law provides an effective way to keep you and your family safe by providing resources for temporary firearm storage options outside the home. Firearm Injury & Policy Research Program (FIPRP) has created Washington State’s Safe Storage Map to help individuals in crisis to identify local options for temporary, voluntary firearm storage.

Learn more about Washington State’s Three Interventions  >>

Safe Storage of your firearms to a place outside your household can reduce the availability and immediate access to lethal means for people in crisis. It will help prevent suicide or self-harm, is voluntary and allows you to retrieve the gun when the crisis has passed.

By being proactive about firearm safety and access, you can protect yourself and loved ones from firearm injury or suicide.

  • After seeking support from their physician or health care provider, many families ask what they can do to protect loved ones who may be struggling with depression or other serious mental illness.
  • In some instances, safe storage of firearms in the home may not be enough to remove the risk.
  • For gun-owning families, there are many options for lowering the risk of harm by moving firearms out of the home.
  • Options include the temporary storage of firearms in an out-of-home safe storage location. A trusted adult outside the household can lock and safely store firearms.
  • The Washington Firearm Safe Storage Map shows gun shops, shooting ranges and police stations where you can temporarily store firearms outside of your home.
  • Call ahead to learn the exact process for bringing your firearm in for storage.
    • Before you or someone you trust takes your firearms to a safe storage location, you should first contact the location and ask about:
      • The process for storing.
      • Any costs.
      • Whether a background check will be conducted when your firearms are returned.
      • Any limits on the length of time guns can be stored.

Many retailers consider offering storage on a case-by-case basis; please reach out to them to discuss whether they can accommodate your request. Do not carry firearms into a police station without calling in advance. Lock firearms in a case or leave them locked in your truck or car while making arrangements with law enforcement. Some locations have pick-up services; you may ask about that when you call.

If you are interested in creating your own voluntary firearm safe storage map, visit our Voluntary Out-of-Home Firearm Storage toolkit.


  • Find Safe Storage resources for firearms outside your home using the Washington Safe Storage Map
  • King County Crisis Connections focuses on serving the emotional and physical needs of individuals. They can be reached by calling 2-1-1 or visiting
  • In emergencies, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (TALK) or call/text 9-8-8. For more information, visit:

Learn more about Washington State’s Three Interventions  >>

Visit our Digital Resource Center to learn more about critical Firearm Interventions and Safe Storage — plus, more injury and violence prevention topics year-round!

This web site is provided for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute providing medical advice or professional services. The information provided should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, and those seeking personal medical advice should consult with a licensed physician. No physician-patient relationship is created by this web site or its use. Neither HIPRC, the University of Washington, nor its employees, nor any contributor to this web site, makes any representations, express or implied, with respect to the information provided herein or to its use.