According to USA Today, 40 million guns were purchased in 2020 – and another 4.1 million guns were purchased in January 2021. While some people were adding to their gun collections, others became first-time gun owners. It’s difficult to know exactly who is buying the weapons, but gun shop owners, gun rights groups and gun lobbying groups said they were now selling more weapons than usual to black shoppers, and to women in particular, and more weapons to first-time gun owners.

The increase of new guns in American homes is troubling to people like Kris Brown, president of the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence. “People are under incredible stress over jobs and spikes in coronavirus cases,” she said. 

Safe gun storage should be a priority for all those new owners to limit accessibility to guns of unauthorized users, including minors and thieves. The Giffords Law Center points out that more than half of all gun owners store at least one gun unsafely – without any locks or safe storage devices. While some data suggests that gun owners with children in the home are slightly more likely than other gun owners to store firearms safely, roughly 4.6 million minors live in homes with loaded, unlocked firearms. 

And it’s not just people who live in the home who may be at risks. Unsecured weapons in homes and vehicles are also leading to a huge uptick in gun thefts across the country. According to the Giffords Law Center, data suggests that approximately 380,000 guns are stolen from individual gun owners each year. Many of these weapons end up with individuals who commit violent crimes. 

There are many options to consider for safely storing weapons and ammunition. The most secure way to store firearms, as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics, is to store them unloaded, locked and separate from ammunition. 

Some people already have gun safes or larger locked cabinets, especially if they are already gun owners. People who are buying handguns for the first time might want to check out some other options that might fit better into their homes. Plus, many people who are purchasing guns for the first time often want easy accessibility to their weapon in case of a burglary. Smaller shelving units or home accents, like clocks and mirrors, have hidden compartments that offer security and easy access. These units provide excellent protection, RFID access and look perfectly normal in a home setting. One of the top companies in the category is Timber Vaults. Their line of concealment furnishings will go a long way to protecting those you love. 

So, if you’re one of the 40 million plus who purchased a new gun in the past year, we invite you to check out your options to protect your loved ones – and your community from any gun violence.