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Together, We Can End Family Fire

Family fire refers to a shooting caused by someone having access to a gun from the home when they shouldn’t have it.

This includes children as well as those who display behavior that indicates they could harm themselves or others. Unintentional shootings, suicide, and intentional shootings are all forms of family fire.

Family fire is preventable by storing your guns safely.

How to Store Your Gun Safely

Securely storing all of your guns can prevent firearm misuse, while still providing you with quick access when you need it.

Gun storage may look different for everyone, but locking all of your guns is a great first step to preventing unintended access. If all of your guns are locked, consider storing your guns unloaded and away from ammunition for additional security.

Take the next step to store all of your guns more securely and protect your loved ones and yourself from family fire.

Hear from a gun owner

"I store my gun in a small capacity biometric safe. It provides secure storage so that no one else can access the gun. It also provides ready access. Storage can be secure and provide quick access."

Gun in a drawer

Safe Gun Storage Options

Explore gun storage options to determine which are the right fit for your household.

Cable & Trigger Locks

Cable & Trigger Locks

Cable locks run a cable through the chamber of the gun and out the magwell to prevent the gun from being fired. A trigger lock is a small two-piece lock that fits over or through the trigger guard to prevent the trigger from being pulled.

Even if a gun is secured using a cable or trigger lock, it is still important to store it inaccessible to children.

Cable and trigger locks are often given away for free by law enforcement and community organizations and are widely available for purchase, ranging in price from $5-20.

Lock Boxes & Carrying Cases

Lock Boxes & Carrying Cases

Lock boxes and carrying cases are small, lightweight storage options commonly used for transporting guns.

Lock boxes and carrying cases can range in price from $15 to $200.

Gun Safes & Cabinets
Hand entering combination on a gun safe

Gun Safes & Cabinets

Home gun safes and cabinets are available in a variety of sizes and require a key, combination, or biometric data to unlock. Some safes can be mounted on walls or bedside tables for an easier to access location.

Biometric technology allows a user to unlock the safe using a fingerprint or other unique biological data, providing a balance of quick access and secure storage.

Gun safes and cabinets can range in price from $50 to $800+ depending on the size, locking mechanism, and other factors.

Off-Site Storage

Off-Site Storage

Firearm retailers, shooting ranges, and/or law enforcement facilities in your area may offer off-site gun storage. Ranging from temporary to long-term options, off-site storage can offer an additional layer of protection when you need it. This could include when you have children in the home, when you are traveling, or if a loved one is in crisis.

Explore off-site gun storage options here.

Hear from a gun owner

"I still keep a .380 pistol—but it has a gun lock and is inside a safe. I keep it locked away not just for my grandson Jackson, but for myself, too. Because you’ve got to protect not just from what’s outside, but from what’s inside, too."

Whether you are bringing a new child into the home, caring for an elderly loved one, or supporting a loved one in crisis, it's important to re-evaluate your approach to firearm storage as your household evolves.

Hear from a gun owner

"I used to keep a gun in the nightstand. It wasn't until getting married and having children that I realized we definitely needed a safe."

Have a Conversation

Gun owners can play a key role in ending family fire by regularly having conversations about responsible gun ownership and safe storage practices.

Learn how to start a conversation with loved ones, caretakers, medical providers, and others about safe storage.

Hear from a gun owner

"When we check in with our friends and loved ones, we should ask them if they have a gun, and if they do, is it safely stored? We can normalize the idea that gun safety is important and it’s okay to talk about."


Hit Pause on a Dangerous Situation

Twenty-one states and Washington, D.C., offer a civil order called Extreme Risk Protection Orders (also known as "red flag laws"). The civil orders can temporarily prevent a person at risk of harming themselves or others from purchasing or possessing guns.

Learn more about Extreme Risk Protection Orders

Frequently Asked Questions

How does safe gun storage really make a difference?

Safe gun storage can reduce unintentional injuries, suicides, and intentional harm, including school shootings, by stopping unauthorized access.

Research indicates:

  • Nearly 1 in 4 children have handled a gun in their home without their parents knowing. Safe gun storage helps prevent their curiosity from turning into tragedy.
  • Access to a gun triples the risk of death by suicide. In 75% of youth firearm suicides for which the gun storage method could be identified, the gun was stored loaded and unlocked. Adding time and space put between an individual in crisis and a gun decreases the risk of suicide.
  • 76% of school shooters under the age of 18 accessed the gun from the home of family or friends. Safe gun storage can decrease unintended access to guns and help keep our kids and families safe.
How should I store my guns safely?

Any steps taken to store guns more securely can make your home safer. Safe gun storage can prevent firearm misuse, while still providing you with quick access when it’s needed.

Gun storage may look different for everyone. But, locking all of your guns is a great first step to preventing unintended access. If all of your guns are locked, consider storing your guns unloaded and away from ammunition for additional security.

Explore cable locks, gun safes, and more storage options to determine which are the right fit for your household.

How can I store my gun securely while still having quick access in case of an emergency?

There are many ways to ensure that guns are both securely stored and easily accessible for their intended users.

You can use quick access locks like biometric readers and practice unlocking and loading a gun to prepare for an emergency.

"When it comes to safe storage in the home, there’s a lot of fear and anxiety about being protected or protecting your home. But if you need quick access, there are methods with new technologies like biometric safes."

Read Chris' Story

Chris J.

When making firearm storage decisions, it is important to not only consider the threats from outside of the home. You should also consider the threat of family fire and firearm misuse inside of the home. Both can be prevented with safe gun storage.

What is End Family Fire?

End Family Fire is a joint public education effort by Brady and the Ad Council that encourages safe firearm storage. The goal is to reduce shooting deaths and injuries caused by the misuse of guns from the home.

The program aims to bring awareness to the issue of family fire, give gun owners a role in reducing gun-related deaths and injuries, and encourage a national dialogue around safe storage practices.

Visit the About page to learn more about End Family Fire.

More FAQs

A Moment of Crisis Can Happen to Anyone

The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline provides 24/7 free and confidential support to people in suicidal crisis or mental health-related distress.

If you or someone you know is struggling or in crisis, text or call 988, or chat at 988LifeLine.org.

Help spread the word about safe firearm storage options.