In 2018, University of Colorado developed the first online state map showing locations willing to consider temporary storage.
Over the past two years, researchers from the University of Colorado and the University of Washington have examined the perspectives of storage location, storage users, and organizations making state maps.
This October, both Universities released a “How to” toolkit called “Voluntary Out-of-Home Firearm Storage: A toolkit for creating maps,” that incorporates best practices, tips, and lessons learned about temporary, voluntary, out-of-home firearm storage.
The toolkit was created by researchers from the University of Colorado’s Anschutz Medical Campus Injury Violence Prevention Center Firearm Injury Prevention Initiative, in collaboration with the Harborview Injury Prevention & Research Center’s Firearm Injury & Policy Research Program (FIPRP) at the University of Washington School of Medicine.
Online state maps showing locations willing to provide firearm storage are a new intervention designed to link community members to options for voluntary out-of-home firearm storage. Colorado was the first state to create a map in 2018 followed closely behind Washington state in 2019. Today eight states have at least partial maps available online.
The new toolkit was created following a two-year research project that examined the perspectives and preferences of retailers, ranges, law enforcement agencies, firearm owners, and groups who had made or were considering creating maps.
The research was supported through the National Institutes of Health firearm-related funding – an example of how research can lead to nonpartisan, community-based interventions to prevent injury and death. The firearm storage maps were highlighted by the White House in 2021 as an approach for suicide prevention.
The online kit is designed to support community organizations, community coalitions, injury or suicide prevention organizations, academic programs focusing on injury/suicide prevention, and other groups seeking to promote voluntary, temporary firearm storage. It includes background on the rationale for out-of-home storage along with step-by-step guidance on how to find storage locations, make and publicize a Google map. It also includes sample storage agreements and links to currently available maps.
This interactive map was made to help people in crisis identify local options for temporary, voluntary firearm storage. Out-of-home firearm storage can be especially helpful to people in crisis. The businesses and law enforcement agencies listed on this map are willing to consider requests for temporary, voluntary firearm storage.