The public dialogue about ways to prevent needless gun violence usually gets caught in a Constitutional stand-off. But more often than not, the answer is in a good lock and key.
North Carolina is one of 18 states that require firearms be stored safely out of the hands of children. The problem, however, is that the statute says nothing about what constitutes “safe storage.” The law is enforceable only after a child is involved in a shooting, and is useless as a preventive tool.
A new survey of North Carolina voters by Public Policy Polling reports that almost half of the families with children under age 16 have a gun in the house. Previous studies have shown that, while two-thirds of gun owners are confident their children could not locate their firearm, just as many kids said they know just where to go.
New legislation being drafted for this session would apply the law to all gun owner’s homes and list guidelines for storing guns in the home. It would protect gun owners from prosecution if they follow recommendations such as storing firearms and ammunition separately. And picking up a free trigger lock from their Sheriff’s Department.