While federal law largely prohibits the sale of firearms to a juvenile, it does not impose further obligations on gun owners regarding the storage of privately-owned firearms.
Safe storage laws work to protect children from injuring themselves and others by requiring gun owners to keep guns locked up and unloaded, and ammunition stored in a locked location separate from the firearm.
Child Access Prevention (CAP) laws go one step further by imposing criminal liability to ensure that owners are held accountable for the security of their weapons.
The US Congress should pass legislation requiring the safe and secure storage of all guns and ammunition, and state legislatures should pass stringent and comprehensive safe storage and Child Access Prevention (“CAP”) laws that mandate all individuals to store all firearms unloaded under the protection of a gun lock or safety device;
Health care providers must be able to discuss the presence of firearms in the home, gun safety and safe storage with the gun owner and/or others within the household.
All states should require firearm owners to keep firearms locked and unloaded and safely stored in locked boxes or firearm safes, out of plain sight, with ammunition stored separately from the firearm, in their home or vehicle.
The state has a duty to prevent abuses of the right to stay alive by taking measures to address actual or foreseeable threats to this right, including in the context of gun violence.
The U.S. signed the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1995. This means that the U.S. should recognize the particular vulnerabilities of children and provide “special safeguards and care” in order to protect them from gun violence, including strict regulation of the possession and use of firearms, and preventing access to firearms by those at risk of misusing them.
Unintentional child shootings that could have been avoided if the weapon had been safely stored, based on nationwide study of 100 unintentional deaths
Children living in homes where firearms are stored loaded and unlocked
Children who died in unintentional shootings between 2004 – 2016