We have a problem:
A 2016 survey by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health concluded that 54% of gun owners do not practice safe storage. 1/3 of handguns are kept loaded and unlocked. 75% of guns used in youth suicide attempts and unintentional shootings are stored in the residence of the victim, relative or friend.
To reduce firearm injury, the safest home is one without firearms. If firearms are in a home, locking, unloading, and separating ammunition can significantly reduce, but not eliminate, the risk of a child being harmed.
Key characteristics of effective campaigns:
Clinical intervention, especially among pediatricians, to promote safe firearm storage; consultations following psychiatric crisis are particularly effective at prompting parents to practice safe storage.
Free distribution of gun locks are most effective at actually getting people to safely store firearms.
Broad community engagement is needed; partnering with groups that garner respect among gun owners is particularly effective (law enforcement, hunting & outdoor organizations, active-duty military, NRA).
Educational component, like the BeSMART program.
One model program is the Broward Co. FL’s Lock-It Up program started in 2018 by the local League of Women Voters. They’ve formed a broad coalition of pediatricians, mental health providers, preschools, churches, organizations like Moms Demand Action and governmental institutions.