The Law of Unintended Consequences: Gun Storage

The Supreme Court recently upheld a federal law requiring the confiscation of guns in cases of domestic violence. This ruling created a perplexing question for police departments across the country: Where to store all the confiscated guns?

In some states – California, Massachusetts, and Connecticut, for example – guns are confiscated at the time of arrest, long before a case ever goes to court. They must all be held in the property room pending the outcome of the trial. Under North Carolina law, seized guns are only destroyed if they are non-working or missing a serial number; they may be sold, but selling them has proven to be an unpopular option, and the accumulation of unclaimed guns has only added to the burden of property room supervisors.

Unlike other forms of property held by the police, confiscated guns represent a significant risk to the public and to law enforcement if not stored with complete security. Even if a property room has the space, just adding shelves and bins is not an adequate storage solution. As storage consultants know, guns must be stored in specialized secure lockers in order to keep them out of the hands of unauthorized individuals.

Good intentions sometimes have unintended consequences, and police departments are learning what those consequences mean for their property rooms. If you’re managing a property room, talk to a storage pro about additional gun lockers.

 

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National Guard Lockers Cut Uniform Losses

When they weren’t on duty, members of the North Carolina National Guard used to keep their uniforms and equipment at their homes. There were no lockers in the armories, and it seemed simple enough for soldiers to store their gear at home. But when soldiers went AWOL, or left the service, or moved away, their valuable uniforms and equipment often went with them. Adding to the loss, each instance of missing gear required a costly formal investigation. Altogether the Guard was losing $4 to $5 million in uniforms, equipment, and investigation costs.

The simple solution proposed by a Special Projects Team: Install lockers in the armories. When soldiers leave, for whatever reason, their uniforms and equipment stay behind in the locker. The savings would add up quickly. But this raised another question – was there sufficient room in the Guard’s seventy-seven armory buildings to install lockers? As the team analyzed the available storage space, they came up with some unexpected locker locations involving firing ranges and shipping containers. Read the full story at http://1.usa.gov/1IzWO3k .

 

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