Kids Or Not, Secure Your Guns!

BY Herschel Smith
4 years, 11 months ago

The Salt Lake Tribune:

Your article (“To curb child suicides, Utah offers gun locks,” March 21) highlighted an important new safety initiative in Utah. We are proud that our Project ChildSafe program’s firearm safety kits are part of this effort, and we commend Rep. Steve Eliason, the Utah Department of Public Safety and the Utah Highway Patrol for taking the lead on this important issue. Their actions are a great model for other states to consider.

We also want to reinforce that firearm owners, regardless of whether there are children or at-risk individuals in the home, should store their firearms securely when not in use. Secure storage is the number one way to help prevent accidents, thefts and unauthorized access. It’s a simple, powerful step that is part of the responsibility of owning a firearm. If you own a firearm, respect it and secure it.

Steve Sanetti

President and CEO, National Shooting Sports Foundation, Newtown, Conn.

So let’s assume you have no kids in the home.  If you want to leave four handguns lying in strategic places around the house, coupled with a rifle and perhaps a shotgun, that’s your business.  To be individually responsible, every gun owner should be able to do the following: allow themselves to be blindfolded, start at the door, walk to every firearm he owns, touch it, and tell someone from memory whether it is loaded and whether a round is chambered.

That’s my personal view.  But I consider it none of my business what you do within the confines of your own home.  How may guns you have, where they are located, whether they are loaded, whether a round is chambered, etc., is your business and yours alone.  How you secure your weapons is up to you. After all, they are your property.

As for Steve Sanetti, you are out of line implying that if someone chooses to handle firearms his way within the confines of his own home, and his way happens to disagree with yours, he is irresponsible.  Making suggestions is okay.  Implying that people must do things your way isn’t.  And by the way, I don’t need law enforcement telling me anything about how to safely handle weapons.


  1. On March 27, 2015 at 8:32 am, Ned Weatherby said:

    “To be individually responsible, every gun owner should
    be able to do the following: allow themselves to be blindfolded, start
    at the door, walk to every firearm he owns, touch it, and tell someone
    from memory whether it is loaded and whether a round is chambered.”
    Excellent idea.

  2. On March 27, 2015 at 9:14 am, Haywood Jablome said:

    Perfect!! Nothing to add!

  3. On March 27, 2015 at 9:42 am, FedUpWithWelfareStates said:

    I would take it a little further…if you leave a firearm within reach/access of kids & they either shoot themselves or someone else, then YOU are in the docket. It is called Command Responsibility, supposing you are in command of your own family. This obviously requires in-depth training of family members when they are old enough (start with the BB Gun at an early age), store weapons out of the reach of young curious kids & make sure that there are consequences for violating the house rules IRT firearms. I guess the days of having your weapons displayed in a nice rifle rack are long gone, but obviously the crime has only worsened, so you will have to weigh keeping your weapons SAFE & accessible in the event you need them…

  4. On March 27, 2015 at 3:16 pm, Seerightthere! said:

    You should practice finding them at 2 am, no lights on. First, time yourself during the day (or your normal awake time) then set your alarm to wake you at least 3 hours into your sleep time, now time yourself with the lights off.

  5. On April 1, 2015 at 9:02 am, UNCLEELMO said:

    Exactly right. That should be every head of household’s mandatory home defense training.
    Your 357 isn’t going to do you any good if you’re still rubbing your eyes when the crankster kicks the door in and turns on the lights.

  6. On April 1, 2015 at 2:51 pm, GomeznSA said:

    For many of us, all we need to do is wait until a bladder alert occurs to do such practice, no sense in wasting an alarm clock!

  7. On March 27, 2015 at 3:34 pm, Daniel Barger said:

    As is so often the case the ideal world and the real world are not the same. In an ideal world you CAN leave guns lying anywhere you like in your home and nothing bad happens. In the REAL world if you do that many bad things can happen. If you have no children or walking brain donors in the home then the worst thing….an unintended shooting of someone is probably not going to happen. However in the real world bad people break into homes all the time. Most are amateurish and guns in safes will remain there. But guns left sprinkled about the home instantly become quick cash for the burglar and illicit weapons for other criminals to use in victimizing innocent people.
    So safe storage isn’t JUST for the people in the home….it’s for everyone else who might end up
    looking down the barrel of those weapons that were NOT secured adequately.

  8. On March 27, 2015 at 4:12 pm, Herschel Smith said:

    Personally, I agree with you (up to a point). That’s what responsible people do. But we have no business trying to enact laws to make people “more responsible.” Government is not the church. Things like what Sanetti said (and the way he said it) feed into the anti-gunners’ attempt to make laws that govern the behavior of people inside their homes.

  9. On March 27, 2015 at 4:13 pm, Archer said:

    You’re assuming the criminal is inclined to search every nook and cranny on the off-chance there’s something valuable there. In the real world a criminal who breaks in to steal stuff wants in and out as quickly as possible. Leaving guns out in plain sight is a bad idea, but then so is leaving your laptop or iPhone uncovered on the front seat of your car.
    So don’t leave them in plain sight. You can keep a few guns “sprinkled about the home”, but keep them out of sight and stored with innocuous stuff. Only YOU and other responsible adults know where they are. The criminal who breaks in is much more likely to grab the most valuable, most visible, and least secured stuff and leave.

  10. On March 28, 2015 at 3:20 am, Daniel Barger said:

    Never had your house broken into have you…..most burglars are not inclined to make the effort to break into a safe. But they ARE very accomplished at tossing a house for valuables in short order….they’ve usually had a bit of practice. That means unsecured firearms have very high probability of being discovered.

  11. On March 27, 2015 at 4:15 pm, Haywood Jablome said:

    If you want to lock your guns up…have at it…nobody is telling you not to. Now, provide me the same courtesy. See? Isn’t that easy?

  12. On March 28, 2015 at 3:22 am, Daniel Barger said:

    No body should be FORCED to lock up their guns. By the same token people who
    do not secure their firearms can and should be held liable for any damage done by that firearm if they do not make a “good faith effort” at securing them. Leave a gun
    in what YOU think is a safe place and some kid visiting with his parents finds it and harms someone then YOU are responsible.

  13. On March 28, 2015 at 8:18 am, Haywood Jablome said:

    By the same logic ANYTHING stolen from your house and then used in a manner for which it wasn’t designed (they steal your car and run someone over, etc.) is YOUR responsibility! See the insanity in your argument? No, of course you don’t. That would take some intellectual honesty. Go drink your kool-aid and pull the handle for “D” in the voting booth.

  14. On March 28, 2015 at 9:20 pm, Daniel Barger said:

    So…..when was the last time someone robbed a bank with a stolen chainsaw, or held up a liquor store with a laptop they stole. Your faux logic is in the form of a reduction ad absurdum.

  15. On March 28, 2015 at 9:35 pm, Haywood Jablome said:

    Nice items you picked. How about knives? Vehicular homicide…or using the car for another crime? Do you want me to go on? You’re an idiot and not worth my time. Reply if you want, I’m done lasting my time with a troll!

  16. On March 29, 2015 at 3:56 am, Daniel Barger said:

    Funny…..a guy who hides behind a euphemism for a sex act trying to act all high and mighty.

  17. On April 1, 2015 at 3:00 pm, GomeznSA said:

    Got it, you are soooo superior to the rest of us mere mortals our opinions are automatically null and void. Please quit creating straw man arguments to try to ‘prove’ your opinion (which is no more nor less valid than anyone else’s).

  18. On April 1, 2015 at 3:38 pm, Tal said:

    Then perhaps you should be smart enough to know the correct use of an ellipsis.

  19. On April 1, 2015 at 2:57 pm, GomeznSA said:

    Sigh, if “some kid visiting with his parents” is any place other than where is allowed to be, he and his parents will no longer be welcome in my house. It is called ‘manners’. That would also include them ‘playing’ with power tools or turning on the stove to watch the pretty flames – presuming one has a gas range.

  20. On March 30, 2015 at 8:19 am, Richpo said:

    I can agree with the sentiment but not the means. If we followed through with this logic then we would NEVER let our teens drive because they might do so drunk. Secondly, this is the world’s typical approach to solving problems: apply more technology rather than address the gun shot (pardon the expression) and wondering why we keep needing more band-aids. Let me get this straight, we secure all the guns then child suicides will plummet? Say we do this and wait one year. Will we be able to take this guy to court when the children are still dying? I’m sorry to have to be the one handing out the dose of truth in our rose-colored glasses-wearing society, but without guns, children will then turn to pills, razors, asphyxiation, jumping off buildings, strangulation, etc. Sure, the suicides by firearm will go way down but the overall deaths will be the same. Then it will be time to apply another band-aid while the wringing of hands continues.

  21. On April 1, 2015 at 9:03 am, Mitch Rapp said:

    First, I ‘gun-proofed’ my kids. Then I placed fully loaded weapons in strategic places, up high and out of sight. They are “in use” at all times. My sons, now 9 and 10, have been taught how to retrieve one of those weapons and defend themselves in the event I am incapacitated. An unloaded and “securely stored” weapon is of no use to anyone.

  22. On April 1, 2015 at 2:50 pm, GomeznSA said:

    My guns (if I have any, which is nunya business) my choice as to where I have them (if I have any!), whether they are loaded (or not), and my responsibility to insure that they are not capable of being misused/mishandled. Period.

  23. On April 1, 2015 at 4:07 pm, MadMagyar said:

    You can’t legislate behavior, period. You can legislate all kinds of punishments for the results of it, but you simply can’t (reasonably) control human behavior, outside of threats, duress and coercion, which includes all the social stressors of advertising, peer pressure (and the ‘social engineering’ tool of arbitrary application we see in courts). Kids will be kids and stupid adults – who don’t know how to secure weapons (of ANY kind) while maintaining ready access – will be stupid adults.
    If ‘child suicide’ is the thing Sanetti thinks people are most concerned about (a convenient excuse), then the bigger question is WHY children, who have the most to LIVE for, are committing suicide. It was a fairly rare thing 50+ years ago. Now it seems to be a common thing (though I couldn’t easily find historical statistics past the early 90’s). Why?

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This article is filed under the category(s) Firearms,Guns and was published March 26th, 2015 by Herschel Smith.

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