Course Outline

Handgun storage closet

Firearms must be stored unloaded and in a locked location, separate from ammunition. The storage area should be cool, clean, and dry.

Store guns horizontally, or with the muzzle pointing down. When guns are stored upright, gravity pulls gun oil downward into the action, which forms a sticky film.

Displaying guns in glass cabinets or wall racks is an invitation to thieves and curious children. Ideally, guns should be hidden from view and locked. Never leave a handgun lying in a place where a child might pick it up. When deciding how to store your firearms, consider your other family members, children, and visitors.

  • A good place to store a handgun is in a handgun storage box or carrying case. Most of these can be locked.
  • Storage devices with hidden compartments are available.
  • For the best protection against theft and fire damage, purchase a safe.

Suicide Prevention

Keeping all firearms stored securely and keeping the ammunition in a separate location may also prevent someone from trying to commit suicide with a firearm.

  • Some people may feel the need to end their own life:
    • During the heat of anger in a domestic situation or…
    • While under the influence of drugs or alcohol or…
    • As the result of mental health issues.
  • Making it take longer to access a firearm may stop an act that they, their family, and their friends would regret for a lifetime.

Some Montana Suicide Statistics

According to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Montana was the number-one state for suicides in 2013 and continues to be listed in the top five.

The Montana Suicide Review Team submitted a summary report for the period from January 1, 2014, through December 31, 2014. Here are some of the results.

  • The average number of suicides being reported each month was 20.
  • The three months with the most suicides were January, August, and September.
  • Suicide by means of firearms was at 61%, compared to the next leading cause, which was hanging at 19%. The most common firearm used in suicides was a handgun at 86%.
  • Males had the highest suicide completion, accounting for 81% of the suicides.
  • The age group with the highest incidence of suicide was 45–64 year olds. Identified issues that start to arise in this age group included mental health issues, health issues, and relational losses.
  • Percentages of specific drugs found in the system of those who died by suicide consisted of caffeine at 63%, tobacco at 52%, alcohol at 48%, psychotropic medication at 41%, narcotic pain killers at 21%, marijuana at 17%, and methamphetamine at 11%.
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