State Gun Laws

Gun safe laws and regulations are an important aspect of today’s world, especially now in the United States. You’ve probably heard it in the news as much as I have, from the incidents caused by unsafe handling of guns to the people in politics battling over the rules of security over gun safes. When guns and other firearms are not properly hidden and locked away, there is always a chance of untrustworthy hands using them. This has led to incidents of suicides, unintentional deaths and—mostly in the case of theft—homicide. Fortunately, our states have a measure of gun safe laws enacted that we gun owners should be wise to follow.


More and more States are implementing stricter Gun control laws including the Child Access Laws that make safe storage of firearms mandatory.

The gun safe that you acquire must pass all the regulatory standards put up by the DOJ. The most obvious one is that your gun safe needs to be able to hold every single one of your firearms. It should have a lock made of drill-resistant material such as steel, and have at least 3 steel locking bolts. The minimum requirement for its external walls is a number 12 heavy steel gauge. A higher gauge number is considered unacceptable, and the smaller the number the better. The door itself should have two layers of steel gauge. Lastly, the door hinges should have some semblance of protection that can keep outsiders from tampering with the safe successfully. I always say that all guns need safes, even if it’s just a single weapon. By taking action, you’re saving yourself from possible liability imposed by your state’s gun safe laws and saving others from any dangerous injuries.

Today, 29 out of 50 states have Child Access Prevention Laws, or CAP Laws. These laws come in different forms, but generally in most states, the law expresses imposition of criminal liability if a minor is caught with a firearm that isn’t stored properly. Some states have stronger interpretations of this in that anyone can be held liable just for having their firearms stored improperly, and others are more lax in that you’re only held liable if it causes serious injury or death. In some states, if a misdemeanor takes place wherein your firearm is involved—for example, if a minor used your poorly stored gun and caused civil disorder—you’re held accountable to pay for any damages caused.

gun laws

There is also a variation of what a “minor” is in different states. Majority of the states will call a “minor” someone who is under 18. Texas residents under 17 years of age are minors. In Illinois, Iowa, Virginia and Wisconsin, a minor is someone under 14.

I greatly respect Massachusetts for their effort in thwarting and preventing unsafe handling of guns. Of all 50 states, Massachusetts is the only one that requires all firearms be stored in a gun safe. Whichever state you reside, I suggest you start researching your state’s laws regarding gun safes. It varies in every state, but they are all preventative measures that keep you safe and should be followed thoroughly.

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