The Responsibilities That Come With Owning A Firearm
BY CHIEF DIRK QUINNEY
North Ogden Police Dept.
Typically, people who are participating in crimes involving firearms are people who are restricted from buying, owning, or possessing firearms in the first place. That means that the firearm they use in the commission of their crime was not legally purchased or acquired. It most likely was stolen from someone who was legally possessing it. It may have even changed hands several times since it was stolen, changing hands from one offender to the next as they use it for whatever their criminal intent.
Additionally, one of the duties of law enforcement is to respond to and investigate incidents of suicide. The most tragic instances of suicide involve young adults and teens and the use of a firearm. Often, the firearm used in these scenes belonged to a family member, usually a parent.
So, what can we do to prevent our firearms from falling into the wrong hands? We need to do a better job securing our firearms at home and in our vehicles. Earlier this year, the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) started a campaign they titled “Right to Carry, Duty to Secure.” The goal of this campaign is for all law-abiding firearm owners to realize that their 2nd amendment right to own a firearm comes with responsibilities. One of those responsibilities is to see that our firearms do not end up in the wrong hands and are used for the wrong purpose.
In the IACP’s Right to Carry, Duty to Secure campaign, the objective is for law enforcement to practice what they preach. They have asked law enforcement leaders to adopt policies and issue equipment so that their officers have the directives and capabilities to safely secure and store their department-issued firearms at home. The North Ogden Police Department did not hesitate to be part of this. From now on, when the North Ogden Police Department issues a sidearm to an officer, the officer will be issued a handgun safe along with it to be utilized at home to secure that firearm. Policies are also in place requiring department-issued firearms to be secured while at home or in vehicles. We are going to do our part to keep guns out of the wrong hands.
Our hope is that our citizens follow suit. Make sure that if you own guns, you have a way to secure them at home and in your vehicle. Yes, I mention the vehicle, and for good reason. We have several cases every year where someone had their vehicle broken into and a firearm that was not properly secured was stolen. These guns were stowed in glove boxes, under seats, and in consoles. Please take a few minutes to properly secure your firearms when not in use. We’re not going to stop all crimes and tragedies involving firearms, but if we stop just one, it will be worth it.