Weapon Protection

Firearms may only be loaded when you are on the field or at the shooting range or in the shooting area, ready to fire. When not in use, firearms and ammunition must be secured in a safe place, separated from each other. It is your responsibility to prevent unauthorized children and adults from gaining access to firearms or ammunition. The latest Firearms training mass shooting in the United States, at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, claimed the lives of 19 children and two adults. The 18-year-old gunman legally purchased two AR-15-style rifles for the attack, catapulting conversations about gun control and regulation to the forefront for Second Amendment advocates and gun control advocates.

There is a need to repeal immunity laws for the arms industry in states that have them, and oppose their enactment in states without the current immunity laws. Increasingly, in the absence of legislative action, organizations are divesting companies that make firearms and putting consumers directly under pressure. More and more companies are adopting new policies about what they sell to the public and/or to whom they sell products. Concealed carrying permit systems generally require training to carry firearms responsibly in public. Licenseless transportation laws, also called constitutional transportation laws, eliminate this critical safety component. Participants noted that fighting a community’s culture is an uphill battle that yields few positive results.

In King County, Washington, for example, public health has partnered with retailers of storage devices for firearms. In addition to the fact that secure storage is tax-free in Washington, through the LOK-IT-UP initiative, residents can learn about the importance of secure storage, buy devices at discounted prices, and learn how to practice secure home storage. The handover legislation is part of the NRA’s broader agenda to weaken and repeal key gun security measures, allow more guns in public, and undermine public safety.

Such requirements may mean that the training sessions are attended primarily by gun owners who may be less willing to safely store a firearm, as safe storage could theoretically prevent quick access to a weapon for use in self-defense. Civil Rights Commission expressed concern that weak public transportation laws like the one in the state of Florida still allowed the man who murdered Trayvon Martin to possess and carry hidden firearms that were loaded in public, despite his history of domestic violence and assault of a police officer. Killing Trayvon Martin and then being convicted of criminally stalking another person.4 Of the 21 states that now authorize people to transport hidden goods. For more than a century, states have recognized the public safety benefits of requiring a permit to carry concealed weapons. For the past decade, however, the gun lobby has promoted legislation to allow people to carry concealed weapons in public places without a permit, background check or security training, dismantling the responsible gun ownership system.

In fact, twenty states have completely eliminated their hidden transportation permit requirement since 2015. These carry-over-without-permission bills lower the bar for those who can carry hidden guns in public and allow untrained and unexplored people to carry hidden weapons in parks, shopping malls, busy urban centers and on the city streets. While collaboration between different agencies and specific communities will be needed to significantly reduce the exposure of children and youth to violence, many professionals are actively fighting this fight. Doctors across the country are talking to parents of young children about gun safety and protecting their children from harm. Teachers, principals, and school administrators actively work with students, reinforcing prosocial behavior and learning conflict resolution skills.

And while most parents had never discussed gun safety with a pediatrician or other health care provider, many said they would be open to such conversations. However, a close third indicated that they did not want to be asked if they owned a firearm and that they would ignore or violate gun safety advice. He suggested that gun owners undergo a safety test to ensure they can handle weapons safely, as well as mental health checks every few years. If a person is going through a crisis or is unable to possess their firearms, those weapons should be removed until that person is deemed mentally fit enough to have them again. With so many mass shootings over the years, Fields said he believes background checks should be done and AR-15-style rifles should be banned, or at least high-capacity magazines. He also believes that more parents should be elected to positions of power to push through gun laws, rather than laws that are hung up because of party lines.

An investigation of 37 school shootings in 26 states found that in nearly two-thirds of the incidents, the attacker took the gun from his own home or that of a family member.12 For more information on safe storage of firearms, see our summaries on safe storage and prevention of access for children. Other possible ways to address gun violence are consistent with common prevention strategies used in other public health interventions. The following recommendations begin with attention to reducing immediate gun-related risks, expand to address the underlying contributors to gun violence, and then focus on the prevention infrastructure needed to ensure effectiveness.