Beware of Online Advice on Safely Storing Guns at Home

Friday, October 30, 2015
Handgun with trigger lock (photo: Getty Images)

A recent report showed that toddlers shoot someone, either themselves or others, about once a week in the United States. Now a physicians’ group points out what might be part of the problem—finding information on the safe way to store a firearm at home is sorely lacking on the Internet.


The American Academy of Pediatrics looked at some of the top results when searching for tips on how to store a gun at home. Only 2% of the commonly searched websites included all four steps necessary to have a gun-safe home:

·       Keep guns locked

·       Keep guns unloaded

·       Lock up ammunition

·       Store ammunition separately from the firearm


“People who are considering turning to the Internet for guidance on home gun storage should be aware that the information they find is unlikely to give them all the advice they need,” according to lead researcher Katherine L. Freundlich, a clinical instructor in the department of pediatrics and communicable diseases at the University of Michigan Medical School.


Researchers found 87 pages about safe gun storage on the Internet, using the 10 most common Google search terms for the subject. They found incomplete and incorrect information, and discovered that the information given was low in technical quality and readability.

-Steve Straehley


To Learn More:

Internet Misfires as Source of Accurate and Complete Information on Safely Storing Firearms in the Home (American Academy of Pediatrics)

Storing Firearms: Internet Has Misfires for Members of the AAP (Science 2.0)

Toddlers have Shot Themselves or Someone Else At Least 43 Times This year (by Steve Straehley, AllGov)

University Researchers Protest Defunding of Gun Safety Research (by Matt Bewig, AllGov)


Dean 6 years ago
Great advice listed here. It is not enough having the weapons locked up. Keeping the weapon unloaded and separating the ammunition from the weapon is key and goes a long way towards helping this growing problem. Thanks for that great resource.

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