Gun control advocates have really ruined the phrase, “gun safety”, haven’t they? If you’re like most gun owners, when you hear the words “gun safety”, you immediately think “uh oh, here comes some gun control”. So, when I saw that a group called the Colorado Firearm Safety Coalition had put out an interactive map of the state showing where gun owners can temporarily store firearms, my first thought was “that’s actually a surprisingly useful thing for a gun control group to do”.
I should have known better. As it turns out, the Colorado Firearm Safety Coalition is an actual gun safety group, rare as they may be these days. The group’s website says its comprised of:
Gun shop owners
Members of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
Researchers from the University of Colorado School of Medicine
Researchers from the Colorado School of Public Health
Researchers from the Veterans Administration’s Mental Illness Research Education Clinical, Centers of Excellence
The laser-like focus of the organization is suicide prevention, and they note that “out-of-home gun storage can be especially helpful to persons in crisis at risk for suicide”, but many people have no idea where they could actually store their firearms temporarily if they felt like they needed to do so. The Colorado Firearm Safety Commission has now solved that problem, at least for gun owners in the state, with an interactive map listing dozens of places where gun owners can safely and temporarily store their firearms if need be.
Most of the facilities that are willing to consider temporarily holding firearms are gun stores, though there is one “vault and safe deposit box” facility and a handful of police departments as well. I think the reliance on private businesses is a good thing, because it lessens the concern about having a hard time getting your firearms back when you want them.
This is the type of gun safety tool that I can wholeheartedly get behind. I much prefer voluntarism over government coercion, and this map is a genuine help to those who may find themselves needing to store their firearms while they go on vacation or have someone in the home who doesn’t need to be around firearms.
According to the folks who put the map together, Colorado is the first state to have such a map. I hope it’s not the last. This is an idea worth doing nationally, and firearms retailers around the country, like those in the Colorado Firearm Safety Commission have an opportunity to really lead the way. This is what real gun safety looks like; empowering gun owners with knowledge, not trying to disarm them with more gun control laws.