Why This Matters

To keep our children safe, we need to require gun owners to safely store their guns so that kids aren’t able to easily access them. Leaving a gun unsecured and easily accessible, whether in homes or other places, increases the likelihood that someone will be accidentally killed or injured. More than half of unintentional shooting deaths occur when children play with a loaded gun in their home. A safe storage law is an important step in making sure that all New York children are safe from harm.

What Are The Facts?

Although Westchester County has a Child Access Prevention law, there is no statewide law mandating that guns be stored in safe storage depository or with a locking device. States that do have Child Access Prevention laws have seen as much as a 23% reduction in accidental shootings of children.[1]

  • Nationally, 1 in 3 homes with children have a gun. 43% of these homes have at least one unlocked firearm.[2]
  • Gun violence is the second leading cause of death among children and teens ages 0-19. A child is killed by a gun every 30 minutes.[3]
  • In 2010, 116 children (ages 0-19) were killed by guns in New York State. In addition, in 2011, 389 New York children under the age of 19 were non-fatally injured by a firearm.[4]
  • While parents often believe that they have hidden the guns from their children, an estimated 70% of children under 10 know their parent’s hiding spot for their guns. Just hiding a gun is not enough to keep kids safe.[5]

What Did WCA Do?

We successfully lobbied for a Child Access Prevention law in Westchester County several years ago. Now it’s time for a safe storage law that will protect children not just in Westchester, but throughout New York. Sign the petition asking New York State lawmakers to pass the legislation this year, and then ask your friends and neighbors to lend their support too.

You can also help promote the ASK (Asking Saves Kids) campaign. Before your child goes to play in a neighbor’s home, ask if all guns are securely locked. Bring the ASK campaign to your school, community organization or faith-based group to spread awareness about the prevalence of unlocked firearms where you would least expect them.



[1] New Yorkers Against Gun Violence. Child Access Prevention Laws. November 2013. http://nyagv.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Child-Access-Prevention-Law-fact-sheet-11-13.pdf

[2] Everytown for Gun Safety. Innocents Lost: A Year of Unintentional Child Gun Deaths. June 2014. http://everytown.org/documents/2014/10/innocents-lost.pdf

[3]New Yorkers Against Gun Violence. Children and Guns in New York. January 2014. http://nyagv.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Children-Guns-and-Safe-Storage-1-30-14.pdf

[4] New Yorkers Against Gun Violence. Children and Guns in New York. January 2014. http://nyagv.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Children-Guns-and-Safe-Storage-1-30-14.pdf)

[5] Everytown for Gun Safety. Innocents Lost: A Year of Unintentional Gun Deaths. June 2014 http://everytown.org/article/innocents-lost/

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