Seattle Children's is committed to preventing injuries and death among youth. We hope that by raising awareness about the importance of safe firearm storage in the home, providing mental health education and by giving parents the tools to safely store their firearms, we can help prevent firearm-related incidents and violence among children and teens.
About Safe Firearm Storage
Safe firearm storage means keeping a firearm unloaded and secured using a lock box, safe, or other locked storage space designed to prevent access and use from someone other than the intended owner. Safe firearm storage protects children and teens, reduces the risk of firearm injuries and saves lives.
Learn more about the importance of safe firearm storage:
Washington State Firearm Tragedy Prevention Network
The Washington State Firearm Tragedy Prevention Network and Seattle Children’s work together to provide you with information, resources and the opportunity to connect with others around the state of Washington on firearm tragedy prevention efforts. Network meetings take place twice a year and are open to anyone interested in helping prevent firearm tragedies.
Learn more about the network and how you can get involved.
Free Firearm Storage Giveaway Events
Seattle Children’s is committed to preventing firearm tragedies and to the safety of kids, families and communities. Safe storage of firearms can greatly reduce injury and firearm related death.
During events, attendees will learn about the importance of safe firearm storage and get a free lock box or trigger lock, with hands-on training on proper use. Supplies are limited. First come, first served. One free lock box or trigger lock per person (maximum two items per household). Must be present to receive free item. Recipient must be 18 or older. No ID required. Due to the uncertain and ever-changing nature of COVID-19, giveaway events have been postponed until further notice.
Protect Our Kids From Firearm Tragedies: Safe Firearm Storage Giveaway Program (3:21)
Due to COVID-19, free firearm storage giveaway events have been postponed.
In partnership with Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center, the Seattle Children's Safe Firearm Storage Giveaway Event intervention was evaluated, and it was found that safe firearm storage practices improved among event participants. Read the full published article in Injury Prevention: Evaluation of a community-based safe firearm and ammunition storage intervention.
Firearm-related tragedies are not just happening in Washington State. If your organization is interested in learning more about the work Seattle Children's is doing around firearm tragedy prevention to help inform work in the communities you serve, please email us.
Learn more about our safe gun storage giveaway events (PDF).
Download the Safe Firearm Storage Giveaway Event Planning Toolkit (PDF) for a step-by-step guide on how your organization can put on a community safe firearm storage education, awareness and giveaway event.
Practicing safe firearm storage is a proven method in keeping kids safe from firearm suicide and unintentional shootings. The safest way to store firearms in is to use the Triple Safe method. This means storing (1) firearms unloaded, (2) locked up and (3) the ammunition lock up in a separate location. Use a firearm safe, lock box, or trigger lock to secure and store firearms. See what your options are and where to purchase safe storage devices here.
Firearm Safety Checklist for Home:
- Store firearms unloaded.
- Store firearms locked up using a firearm safe, lock box, trigger or cable lock.
- Store and lock ammunition separately from firearms.
- Avoid locking devices that use keys if possible. If your locking device has a key, keep it with you or in a safe place that children and others cannot access.
- Remove firearms from your home if a family member is depressed, suicidal or is abusing drugs or alcohol. See the Washington Firearm Safe Storage Map to find local options for temporary, voluntary firearm storage.
See the complete Safety Checklist for Home.
Preventing Suicide: What Families Need to Know (4:50)
Firearm Safety and Suicide Prevention (0:30)
Patient-provider counseling on safe firearm storage during clinic visits is an important strategy to potentially reduce firearm-related injuries among children and teens. See Tips for Provider Messaging on Safe Firearm Storage for guidance on how to have conversations about safe firearm storage with parents/guardians.
- Washington Chapter American Academy of Pediatrics - Role of the Physician in Firearm Injury Prevention (webinar)
- Suicide Prevention Resource Center - Counseling on Access to Lethal Means (online, free)
- Safer Homes, Suicide Aware - All Patients Safe Training (online)
- Firearm Safety Among Children and Teens (FACTS) – Counseling, safe storage, epidemiology (videos)
- Free CME - Preventing Firearm-Related Injury and Death: A Targeted Intervention