There are currently no federal legal requirements to keep your guns locked in a gun safe. However, there are almost 30 states and the District of Columbia that require gun owners to lock up their firearms in a safe to restrict access to children. These state laws apply whether you have children living in your home or not. There is an assumption that any child who lives or may visit your home should be prevented from accessing your gun because children do not fully understand the risks of playing with a gun. If a child or other person is injured or killed because of a child having access to your gun, you could be held liable.
Outside of restricting access to children, some states also have safe storage laws for firearms. In Massachusetts, firearms must be securely stored in a locked container, like a gun safe, or be equipped with a tamper-resistant mechanical lock. This helps keep guns out of the hands of not only children, but other individuals who would otherwise be able to legally obtain a gun.
According to research done by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), more than 500,000 guns are stolen or lost from private homes each year. These guns can wind up in the hands of criminals and threaten public safety. We would like to think that the people we invite into our homes would not steal anything that might be on display. However, why take that risk? Storing your guns in a locked safe will reduce the temptation of others to touch, play with or steal any of your guns.
If you own a home, your homeowners policy’s insurer may require you to keep your guns in a safe. And if you own multiple firearms or a collection, they might also require you to own multiple gun safes to break up your collection. This could prevent all guns from being stolen at once.
You could be entitled to an income tax deduction of about $1,200 under the Secure Firearms Act when you purchase a gun safe. Check with your accountant before purchasing your safe and save your receipts.
Your guns are designed to protect you and your family. So, as a responsible gun owner, you can return that favor by keeping them locked in a safe.
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