Gun Safety

Beginning with the week starting on July 5, 2023, fire stations across the City began distributing gun locks, free-of-charge, to Columbus residents.

Free Gun Locks

Gun locks provide another level of safety by securing guns when not in use. The gun locks being purchased are made from a braided steel cable with a keyed padlock. This is a proactive step to changing the narrative of young people continuing to injure and killing other young people with firearms, we are in a race to stop this tragedy from recurring again.

These gun locks are available to any resident, no questions asked, at all Columbus fire stations between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. For more information, in Columbus, please call 614-724-0269.

Free Gun Lock Boxes

Firearms are the leading cause of death for American children and teens. Gun safety isn't just about knowing how to properly handle a gun. Gun safety is also about keeping guns from getting into the wrong hands. Storing a gun and ammunition properly protects others from injury and keeps weapons out of the hands of children and others who shouldn't have them.

Columbus Public Health provides free lock boxes to the City of Columbus residents. Contact or Corey Ball at 614-645-1941 to learn how you can receive a free gun safe/lock box. Hours for this program are Tuesdays 10 a.m.-2 p.m. and Thursdays 10 a.m.-2 p.m. (1393 E. Broad St.).

The following agencies around central Ohio have gun locks or lock boxes available. Most provide gun locks, not gun boxes. You can contact the agency nearest you for more information.

How to Safely Store Firearms

  • Treat every firearm as if it was loaded even if it is not. Check to ensure the firearm is safe and clear every time you are handling it.
  • Always keep the muzzle of the firearm pointed in a safe direction when handling. In the event of an accidental discharge it would not result in bodily injury.
  • Only put your finger on the trigger when you are going to fire the firearm. Some firearms have a hair trigger and can fire with the slightest of pressure.
  • Unload your firearm if not in use. When you are ready to use again check to make sure the firearm is safe and clear by pointing it in a safe direction.
  • Read the manual and be sure to know how your firearm operates.
  • Lock all firearms in a cabinet, safe, or storage case when not in use and store your ammunition in a separate location.
  • Unfortunately, thefts of firearms from vehicles are on the rise. Thieves commonly steal cars and trucks even when they don't obviously contain firearms—a reminder that vehicle door locks are not totally secure. (
  • Never leave firearms in an area of the vehicle where they are accessible to children or pets.
  • A lockable gun case or a lock box may be the most practical choice to securely store a firearm in a vehicle.
  • Securing the lock box with a cable cord to the vehicle helps decrease the theft of firearms.

Discussing Gun Safety

  • Make the conversation about firearm safety a regular conversation and have this conversation repeatedly.
  • Keep the language age appropriate.
  • Tell children to never pick up a firearm, even if they think it is a toy and to immediately tell a trusted adult where the firearm is. Assure them they will not be punished for reporting a found weapon to an adult.