Gun Storage

1. Gun training is not associated with appropriate gun storage

We analyzed a number of national random-digit-dial telephone surveys.  Many gun owners report storing their guns loaded and unlocked.  Gun training is often associated with an increased likelihood of storing firearms in this manner.

Weil, Douglas S; Hemenway, David.  Loaded guns in the home: An analysis of a national, random survey of gun owners.  JAMA.  1992; 267:3033-37.  See response:  Weil DS, Hemenway D.  Violence in America: Guns.  JAMA.  1992; 268:307.

Hemenway, David; Solnick, Sara J; Azrael Deborah R.  Firearm training and storage.  JAMA.  1995; 273:46-50.  See response:  Hemenway D, Solnick SJ, Azrael DR.  Firearms training.  JAMA.  1995; 273:1733-34.


2. Women often incorrectly believe the gun is stored appropriately

We analyzed gun storage practices from data obtained from a 1999 national random-digit-dial survey of adults conducted under the auspices of the Harvard Injury Control Research Center.  Prior studies found that women appear to underreport household gun ownership.  This study indicates that women, when they report a gun in the home, often incorrectly believe that it is stored unloaded and locked up.

Azrael, Deborah; Miller, Matthew; Hemenway, David.  “Are firearms stored safely in households with children? It depends on whom you ask.”  Pediatrics electronic pages.  2000; 106: e31.


3. Too many parents store guns dangerously 

Some 400 parents with firearms in the home responded to questions about firearms storage.  Over 20% of parents had a loaded firearm and 8% stored at least one firearm loaded and unlocked.  Households with teenagers were somewhat more likely to store firearms unsafely.

Johnson, Renee M; Miller, Matthew; Vriniotis, Mary; Azrael, Deborah; Hemenway, David.  “Are household firearms stored less safely in homes with adolescents?: Analysis of a national random sample of parents.”  Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.  2006; 160:788-92.


4. It is better to create a safe environment than to rely on educating children not to touch guns

We summarized the literature on preventing child access to firearms.

Johnson, Renee; Hemenway, David.  Prevention of children and youths’ access to and operation of firearms: A review of interventions.  Preventing access to and use of firearms.  In: Trafton, Jodie A & Gordon, William P (eds).  Best Practices in the Behavioral Management of Health from Preconception to Adolescence, Vol III.  Institute for Brain Potential.  2008.