Unrealistic perceptions of children’s abilities and behavior are common factors in firearm incidents. Parents frequently misperceive a child’s ability to gain access to and fire a gun, to distinguish between real and toy guns, to make good judgments about handling a gun, and to consistently follow gun safety rules. Gun locks are an excellent way to prevent firearm injuries with children. Need a gun lock? Contact the Durham County Gun Safety Team for a free gun lock. 919-560-7765



An estimated 82,000 North Carolina children live in homes with an unlocked and loaded gun. (Pediatrics, Vol. 116 No. 3, September 2005)

Child Access Prevention and Safe Storage Law (North Carolina) - Law Summary

North Carolina's child access prevention law generally requires that no person shall store or keep any loaded firearm on any premise under their control if it is known or reasonably should be known that a minor age 17 and under is likely to gain access to the firearm without permission unless the firearm is properly stored.


Since Firearm, Gun Safe storage and Child Access Prevention Laws are constantly changing the information provided here is for general information only and not for official use. Please keep yourself updated about your states current laws by contacting your local police department or the police department in states you intend to travel.



There is one common denominator in every unintentional firearm injury: access to a loaded firearm. The most important thing parents, caregivers and gun owners can do to protect children is reduce their access to firearms and safely store all guns.


• Store firearms unloaded, locked up and out of children’s reach.

• Store ammunition in a separate, locked location.

• Use quality gun locks, lock boxes or gun safes on every firearm. Gun locks, when correctly installed, prevent firearms from being discharged without the lock being removed.

• Keep gun storage keys and lock combinations hidden in a separate location.

• Take a course in using, maintaining and storing guns safely.

• Talk to your children about the potential dangers of guns.

• Teach children never to touch or play with a gun.

• Teach children to tell an adult if they find a gun, or call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number if no adult is present.

• Check with neighbors, friends or relatives – or adults in any other homes where children visit – to ensure they follow safe storage practices if firearms are in the home.


For more information on Firearm Safety and Gun Locks, visit



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