ny times logoA letter by NYAGV Executive Director Leah Gunn Barrett about the safe storage of guns appeared in The New York Times on February 10. The letter was written in response to Joe Nocera’s “Gun Report” column about how frequently children are the victims of gun violence.

The letter:

Safe Storage of Guns

To the Editor:

In “The Gun Report, 1 Year Later” (column, Feb. 4), Joe Nocera said he has been surprised at how frequently children are the victims of gun violence, particularly in the home. As he correctly notes, these incidents are preventable.

That is why New Yorkers Against Gun Violence is behind a safe storage law for New York State that would require gun owners to store their guns safely to prevent access by children and others who should not have them.

The bill is named for Nicholas Naumkin, 12, of Saratoga Springs, who was fatally shot by a friend who was playing with his father’s unlocked gun in December 2010.

A gun in the home increases suicide risk by 17 times. We know that more than 75 percent of the guns used in youth suicide attempts and unintentional injuries were stored in the home of the victim, a relative or a friend.

Law enforcement and members of the military are trained to practice safe storage of their guns in the home. Nicholas’s bill would help ensure that all gun owners do the same.

LEAH GUNN BARRETT
Executive Director
New Yorkers Against Gun Violence
New York, Feb. 4, 2014