Will Gun Locks Save Lives? The Statistics Will Surprise You


Contrary to what many people seem to think, gun owners and pro-Second Amendment people are very concerned about safety. We just don’t think that the gun is to blame when a shooting takes place.

And, so, for safety reasons, many gun owners are strong advocates of gun locks to prevent a small child from getting their hands on a firearm before they are old enough to have firearm training. This is completely understandable.

Anti-gunners take this thinking further by thinking that every gun should have a gun lock on it because they believe that it will mean greater safety for everyone. But is that the case?


Dr. John Lott gives us some details on what the real statistics say (hat tip to here for the lead). Lott comments on this as he discusses legislation in Texas which would mandate gun locks. Lott writes,

We all want to do something, but more lives will be lost than saved if everyone locks up their guns.

Gun storage is primarily designed to prevent accidental gun deaths of children. According to the Centers for Disease Control, Texas averaged 8 accidental juvenile gun deaths a year from 2013 to 2017. That’s about 8 percent of the number of such deaths nationwide. This is smaller than Texas’ more than 10 percent share of the under-18 population. 

It must be a puzzle for gun control advocates since a significantly larger percent of Texas households have guns and the state doesn’t have the gun “safety” laws that other states have. 

But now, legislators have gotten the idea that gun locks will help prevent mass public shootings. Very few shootings have involved guns stolen from parents. In 2012, 20-year-old Adam Lanza stole his mother’s gun, though she already kept it in a safe. So, a new law would have made no difference. 

Since 2000, including Sante Fe, there have been three US mass public shootings by a juvenile killer. But the Red Lake, Minnesota attack was committed by a 17-year-old who killed his grandfather, an Indian Reservation police officer, and then took his service gun off his dead body. So, again, gun locks wouldn’t have stopped that attack either.

Unfortunately, mandating gun locks can have unintended consequences. 

According to my research, which has been published in the Journal of Law and Economics and elsewhere, such laws have made it more difficult for people to successfully defend themselves and their families.  Criminals became more emboldened to invade people’s homes.  There were 300 more total murders and 4,000 more rapes occurring each year in the states with these laws.  Burglaries also rose dramatically.

So, once again, we see where anti-gunners want to push policies based on what they want to be true instead of what the data actually shows. And they end of pushing an idea that sounds good on paper but ends up getting more people injured and killed in the real world.

So, if you’re thinking about gun locks, we’re not suggesting that you shouldn’t use them. However, if you do use them, understand the trade offs and, whatever you do, don’t tell anyone that you use them. You don’t want to make yourself a target.



  1. Actually, the anti-gun bigots want mass shootings in order to provide more victims’ blood to dance. It is all about taking the guns away from the people so those creeps can use those incidents as an excuse to disarm us all and create the “Ultimate dictatorship” to control the world.

  2. Why push this is about saving lives, it’s not, the only reason Democratics push for more anit-gun laws is because you can’t force socialism on an armed people. To fully implement their socialist agenda is to take our firearms from us. Any other discussion is a lie.

    • Indeed…..and gun locks will only get the fool with the locked gun killed. The anti-gunners will NEVER understand that when milliseconds count any impediment can get you killed when the cops are minutes away. Even owning a weapon can’t keep you completely safe so if they want to be a victim it’s their right, but thyy don’t have the right to think the rest of us that stupid.

  3. I keep gun locks on my hunting rifles and hunting shotguns, and on the pistols that are not in regular use and/or are antique or C & R. I do not keep them on defense weapons (rifles, shotguns, pistols) I don’t see the point and believe it defeats the reasoning behind defensive purpose. It’s been an unwritten law in my family for generations now, that gun safety begins when a child shows interest and curiosity in guns (usually at 5 or 6). Starting early, even when the child is incapable of operating the weapon satisfies curiosity and ingrains the rules/laws of firearm safety into their head early on. Responsible children become responsible adults. Gun safety, like tool safety needs to be a big part of gun owner culture. Show offs need not apply.

  4. When I was a pre-teen back in the 1950’s, I had it ingrained in me that a gun is never unloaded, even when it is disassembled for cleaning. Many non-gun owners cannot see that the best policy is to educate our youngsters about weapons. If some armed person breaks into my house, I simply don’t have the time to open a safe, remove a gun lock, load a magazine, and shoot back. How many ways do I need to be dead before I get to that point?

    Having said that, my reading of the 2nd Amendment suggests that the purpose of my owning and being prepared to use a weapon has nothing to do with criminals breaking into my house. The purpose is to protect myself against overreaching government. It doesn’t matter if the guns at the time of the writing were crude compared to today’s guns. So were the weapons the government could use against me compared to those they have today. In fact, government agencies have more powerful weapons than I do, including fully automatic ones. No matter what, I’m at a certain disadvantage. So don’t give me the argument that the framers couldn’t have foreseen the guns that we have today. That’s pure bullshit!

  5. While gun locks can reduce the use by small children or teens takimng a gun to school, they a renot the perfect answer. Delayed time in the event of an intruder can be fatal for a home owner. But here is a true story of how thinkg can go wrong.

    My dad taught me gun safety from childhood and did not let me use one until I was ten. But he often cleaned his rifles and a shotgun and as he finishe one. he place it across two sawhorses. One day as he wasclening firearms, he had cleaned his 12 gage shotgun ana laid it across the sawhorses, he spotted a coyote across the creek from the back of the house.He loaded the shotgun while he claned the rifle.
    I was at least ten or twelve by then. He had allowed me to turn the weapons on the sawhorses and sight with them. I came out of the house and tune the shotgun over on the sawhorses. WHile he had taught me to always assume a gun was loaded but I turned the shotgun upright, looks down the sights and pulled the two triggers. I was bent over the sawhorses and had the shotgun stock against my shoulder. It went off and threw me back against the wall of the house. I had a very sore shoulder and back for many days. I never did that again. That was better than all the learning he did with me. Should he have left the loaded shotgun where he did? Of course not or at least he should have told me the shotgun was loaded. Mistakes happen. He never made that mistake again and neither did I. Never did I ever have a loaded weapon in my house to this day.

  6. I was taught gun safety since before I can remember. I knew never to touch a gun and you always treat them as loaded even when you think they are not. I got a .22 for my eleventh birthday and am an avid hunter. The Marines really drove in firearm safety and taught the difference between a rifle andd a gun. At 71 I still have that original Winchester.

  7. I was taught gun safety since before I can remember. I knew never to touch a gun and you always treat them as loaded even when you think they are not. I got a .22 for my eleventh birthday and am an avid hunter. The Marines really drove in firearm safety and taught the difference between a rifle andd a gun. At 71 I still have that original Winchester.

  8. Sadly, many people have become anti-gun because of the lies that they are told. I don’t know how many people(including ex military) that think any gun with the adjective “assault” in front of it is fully automatic. They see the news and think the US is #1 in the world for firearm killings. The anti gunners are winning, they have the media on their side.

  9. Gun locks save the lives of the ppl kicking your front door in! Never put a lock on any gun I’ve owned in 50 years and raised two kids and three grandkids without problem. Training, training, training, training, training, training, and more damn training!!!! Hand to ass when required!!!

  10. When my children were growing up I taught them all guns are always loaded. If they wanted to shoot I would quit whatever I was doing and we would go shooting. They are both grown and have nearly grown children of their own. None of them have accidentally shot anyone either. Ignorance of any weapon makes it dangerous.
    I live 30 minutes from any chance of law enforcement coming to my aid. Does this mean my family and I should die because the liberals out there are afraid to take care of themselves?

    • Mr. Davis, allow me to disagree. The liberals are not afraid to take care of themselves, they are afraid, (and rightly so), that we, the armed population, will take care of them when they try to create the “New World Order” they so desperately want to create by removing ALL firearms from the hands of the citizens!

  11. READ THE 2ND AMENDMENT OF OUR CONSTITUTION! Permits, fees, registrations, are ALL INFRINGEMENTS to my freedom to protect myself and family. It’s none of the governments business what I have to protect myself. READ THE 2ND AMENDMENT! “…Without infringements”. WE DO NOT NEED ANY GOVERNMENT’S INTRUSION INTO OUR PRIVACY OR THEIR PERMISSION!
    *** Do you think the men who signed the Declaration of Independence got any kind of ‘permit’ from the British?
    WE MUST FIGHT ANY ‘LAWS’ THAT ARE CONTRARY TO OUR CONSTITUTION! This ‘law’ puts the government in control, not the ‘will of the people’. …And it does NOTHING to ‘outlaws’. ‘Laws and Regulations’ do not = ‘freedom’.

  12. The left sure wants to take away our guns away! All they want is complete power and let the crooks to have free will over everyone else! They don’t care about the people who get killed.

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