BELMONT COUNTY, Ohio (WTRF) – The Ohio Legislature is considering a bill that would force gun owners to keep their firearms locked, so children could not get access. Then if a child gets the gun and shoots someone, the parent could be charged with a crime.
House Bill 240 would be the state’s first Safe Storage Law.
We reached out to CSI (Come Shoot Inside), an indoor range in Belmont County. They are not a fan of this bill. They say locking up guns in a safe could make it too hard for the owners to get to their gun in times of emergency. But they say they are big proponents of gun safety.
“Store your gun in one location,” said Michael Perry, co-owner of CSI. “Store you ammunition in your second location.”
They say you can break your gun down into its basic components, which a child could not re-assemble. Or you could use a lock box, a gun vault, or a cable or trigger lock. And some locks on your doors buy you some time.
“Two o’clock in the morning you’re woke out of a sound sleep,” said Perry. “People are gonna be ransacking your home. Lock that door. That gives you a little bit more time to access your firearm.”
They urge everyone to educate their children.
“And explain that these do hurt people,” said CSI co-owner Jeanette Mertz. “And that, you know kids don’t realize life and death.”
And to monitor your kid’s mental state.
“Be very observant,” said CSI assistant general manager Faith Butler. “I know with teenagers it does tend to be difficult cause they pull away, they want to go be with friends. That’s the time that you have to pull in the most. You have to pay attention to them. You have to insert yourselves into their lives and know what’s going on. And know if they’re depressed. And if so, keep your guns in your trunk if you feel that you need to.”
And become proficient. If you want to be a gun owner.
“Practice,” said Mike Evans of Martins Ferry. “Go to your range. Practice, practice, practice. Especially if you’re going to be carrying. It’s extremely important. Use the gun you’re going to be carrying. And keep practicing.”
Massachusetts has a law that requires guns to be stored with a locking device when they’re not in use. And in Washington DC, you are required to keep each gun you own either disassembled, or secured by a lock.