Washington firearm safe storage map unveiled

The Firearm Injury & Policy Research Program has created an interactive map for locating temporary firearm storage

Media Contact: Susan Gregg - sghanson@uw.edu, 206.390.3226

A new interactive map is now available to help people in crisis find temporary firearm storage facilities in their community. Currently, 59 locations in Washington state are listed. This is the first  map of its kind created in the state.

Researchers in the Firearm Injury & Policy Research Program at UW Medicine’s Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center created this map to help people in need, such as those feeling suicidal, locate an out-of-home firearm storage solution. The businesses and law enforcement agencies listed on the map are willing to consider requests for temporary or voluntary firearm storage.

“Seventy-five percent of firearm deaths in our state are due to suicide. Temporarily removing firearms from the home and storing them elsewhere may be life-saving for a family member,” said Dr. Fred Rivara, director of the map project, and professor of pediatrics at the University of Washington School of Medicine.

Before taking firearms to a safe storage location, people are asked to contact  the business or agency. Many sites listed have different processes for storing firearms. Some have a fee and limits to storage duration. Others may conduct a background check when they return the firearms. It’s important to note that each retailer offers storage on a case-by-case basis.

Police stations request calling ahead of time to make arrangements. People should ensure firearms are locked in a case or are left locked and hidden from sight inside a vehicle while they make arrangements with law enforcement agencies. Some police stations may have a pick-up service as well.

The map project at UW Medicine’s Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center is part of its efforts to reduce firearm injuries and death. These include encouraging programs in suicide prevention, safe storage of firearms, domestic violence prevention, examination of effectiveness of legislation and policy, and other issues. The Firearm Injury & Policy Research Program is a nonpartisan organization that does not advocate or endorse any particular political viewpoint.

The program suggests these help lines that are available to the public:

  • Crisis support in King County: Crisis Connections at 866.427.4747
    King County 2-1-1 resource finder: 800.621.4636
  • Washington Recovery Help Line 866.789.1511 (substance use treatment)
    National Suicide Lifeline:  1.800.273.TALK (8255)
  • National Crisis Line: Text 741741
  • Washington Recovery Help Line 866.789.1511 (substance use treatment)
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline: 800.799.7233 or 800.787.3224 (TTY)
  • Veterans Crisis Line: 800. 273-8255 or text 838255

Note to editors:  A press briefing on the interactive map will take place on Monday, March 2.  Please contact Susan Gregg, sghanson@uw.edu for time and location. 

For details about UW Medicine, please visit http://uwmedicine.org/about.

Tags:suicide preventiongun safety

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