Community Safety Message: Secure Gun Storage | The City of Lakewood, Ohio

Community Safety Message: Secure Gun Storage

June 03, 2024

As summer approaches and children and teens may be more often at home alone or visiting friends’ homes, Mayor Meghan George and Superintendent Maggie Niedzwiecki and Police Chief Kevin Fischer remind residents of the importance of safe gun storage, noting that secure firearm storage is an adult responsibility.

Gun violence is the leading cause of death for children and teens. Secure gun storage can save children’s lives by preventing unintentional shootings and gun suicides. Mayor George, Superintendent Niedzwiecki and Chief Fischer urge parents and caregivers to practice responsible gun storage by:

  • Securing firearms in their homes. Responsible firearm storage means that guns are stored unloaded, locked, and separate from ammunition. Free gun locks are available for Lakewood residents from the Lakewood Police Department.
  • Asking about the presence of guns in the homes of family and friends.

June is National Gun Violence Awareness Month. Mayor George and Superintendent Niedzwiecki remind residents of the following statistics:

  • Every year across the country, 350 children under the age of 18 unintentionally shoot themselves or someone else, and nearly 77% of those incidents take place inside the home. 1
  • More than 700 children die by gun suicide each year. In the overwhelming majority of these incidents, the gun used was one that belonged to someone in their home.
  • Research shows that secure firearm storage practices are associated with up to an 80 percent reduction in the risk of self-inflicted and unintentional firearm injuries among children and teens.3

This summer and throughout the year, our community leaders encourage all Lakewood adults to help protect Lakewood kids through secure gun storage.

2 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Center for Health Statistics. WONDER Online Database, Underlying Cause of Death. A yearly average was developed using four years of most recent available data: 2018 to 2021. Children aged 0 to 17
3 David C. Grossman et al., “Gun Storage Practices and Risk of Youth Suicide and Unintentional Injuries,” JAMA 293, no. 6 (2005): 707–14.