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Barnard LM, Johnson RL, Brandspigel S, Rooney LA, McCarthy M, Meador L, Rivara FP, Rowhani-Rahbar A, Knoepke CE, Fortney JC, Peterson RA, Betz ME. Voluntary, temporary out-of-home firearm storage: A survey of firearm retailers and ranges in two states. Preventive medicine. 2022 Dec 1; 165(Pt A):107220.
Out-of-home storage of personal firearms is one recommended option for individuals at risk of suicide, and statewide online maps of storage locations have been created in multiple states, including Colorado and Washington. We sought to examine both the extent to which firearm retailers and ranges offer temporary, voluntary firearm storage and the perceived barriers to providing this service. We invited all firearm retailers and ranges in Colorado and Washington to complete an online or mailed survey; eligible sites had to have a physical location where they could provide storage. Between June-July 2021, 137 retailers/ranges completed the survey (response rate = 25.1%). Nearly half (44.5%) of responding firearm retailers/ranges in Colorado and Washington State indicated they had ever provided firearm storage. Among those who had ever offered storage, 80.3% currently offered storage while 19.7% no longer did. The majority (68.6%) of participants had not heard of the Colorado/Washington gun storage maps and 82.5% did not believe they were currently listed on the maps. Respondents indicated liability waivers would most influence their decision about whether to start or continue providing temporary, voluntary storage of firearms. Understanding current practices, barriers, and concerns about providing out-of-home storage by retailers and ranges may support development of more feasible approaches for out-of-home firearm storage during times of suicide risk.