Gun Shop Owners Are Saving Lives With One Simple Step

Townhall Media

While anti-gun Democrats are busy pushing "red flag" laws and gun-controlling academics are blaming open carry laws for gun-involved sucides, the 2A community is taking a different approach to saving lives: giving gun owners a place to safely and temporarily store their firearms when they or a family member is in crisis. 


We've spoken before with Hold My Guns founder Sarah Joy Albrecht about partnering with FFLs who are willing to take in firearms on a short-term basis, but today's Bearing Arms Cam & Co features a conversation with Essential Shooting Supplies owner Chuck Lovelace, who's part of an initiative called the Gun Shop Project, which involves dozens of FFLs around the state of Wisconsin, including himself, who are taking in firearms when gun owners need a safe place to store them. 

I first learned about Chuck's work from Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter John Diedrich's excellent series "Behind the Gun", and reached out to him directly to see if he'd be interested in sharing his story with the Bearing Arms audience. I was delighted that Chuck took a few minutes out of his busy schedule to sit down with me to explain how the temporary storage works and why he decided to get involved. 

Lovelace says that despite some reservations from customers who worried that he was embracing gun control, programs like the Gun Shop Project and Hold My Guns do not involve law enforcement in any way. Like Albrecht, Lovelace says its important for the gun owners who are storing their guns temporarily to be confident that they can get their guns back, and that they're in control of what happens to their firearms even when they've temporarily turned them over for safekeeping. 


"What happens is they come in, we fill out a simple contract, basically, saying this is who you are, this is what you're going to store with us, and we're going to contact you in 90 days if we haven't heard from you by then to see where you're at. If we need to extend it out another 90 days we can do that."

Lovelace says if the gun owner still isn't ready to bring their firearms home after 180 days, he'll work with them on long-term solutions, including selling the guns... but only if that's what the owner wants. And the gun owner can pick up their stored firearms from the store at any time. Once again, it's their decision to make; not the gun shop, the county sheriff, or the ATF.

Chuck encourages other FFLs to take part in these efforts as well, noting that it doesn't take a lot of time, money, or floorspace to serve as guardians of others' guns. 

"My initial investment was the safe that I bought. I got it wholesale and on sale for $750. If $750 saves a life, then it's the best $750 I've ever spent," he told Bearing Arms. 

Suicide isn't a gun issue, and it won't be addressed through gun control laws. I don't think Lovelace or Albrecht would say that allowing gun owners to temporarily store their firearms with FFLs is going to completely solve the problem either, but it's at least an approach that meets gun owners on their terms, instead of demonizing them or their Second Amendment rights. I believe these efforts are a far more productive and constitutionally sound approach to reducing gun-involved suicides, and I'm glad that Chuck was willing to share his experiences with the Gun Shop Project on today's show. 


If you're interested in helping programs like these take root across the country, 2A advocate Cheryl Todd is hosting an online auction benefitting Hold My Guns that just went live today. You can bid on new pistols, rifles, holsters, and more, including a personalized GunGram from my friend Charlie Cook. 

Lovelace, Albrecht, and other 2A advocates who are already involved in these programs are leading the way in saving lives while protecting our rights at the same time. Those two things aren't incompatible with each other, despite what the anti-gunners claim. The 2A community is already pretty good at looking out for each other, and this is just another way to have each other's backs when it matters most. 


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