BLOOMINGTON, Minn. (WCCO) – A firearms instructor with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is preaching safe gun storage after two parents of a student accused of threatening a classmate were arrested for not keeping their firearms secure.
In a matter of seconds, Dan Millenacker threads the cable of a gun lock through his pistol, finishing by turning the lock’s key to secure it.
“This (lock) device now renders that firearm inoperable,” he said.
And when the gun is not in use, locked up is exactly how Millenacker wants his guns to be.
“There’s no excuse for not having a simple locking device on a firearm if you don’t have the opportunity to put it in a locked storage,” he said.
Millenacker volunteers his time as an instructor with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. While learning how to accurately hit a target is part of his class, so too is safe gun storage.
His suggestions include the trigger lock, which needs a key to be opened and runs as low as $5, to a gun safe, which could cost a couple hundred dollars on the low end.
“It’s one of those things that really has to be taught. And people have to be shown how to properly secure a firearm in their home because ultimately they are responsible for that firearm,” Millenacker said.
Similar words were echoed last week by Ramsey County Sheriff Jack Serier, not long after investigators searched a Vadnais Heights home to follow up on a threat made at Academy for Sciences and Agriculture.
Investigators say a student threatened a classmate. His parents, 41-year-old Christopher Stowe and 41-year-old Lisa Stowe, were arrested after investigators say several guns were found not secured in the home in the presence of a minor. The student is 13 years old.
“It is the responsibility under law for all adults who have guns in their homes to keep them secure and away from minors,” said Sheriff Serier. “To not do so invites tragedy.”
Dozens of police departments and sheriff’s offices around Minnesota and Wisconsin give out free gun locks through a safety program called Project ChildSafe. To see if the law enforcement agency in your town is part of the program, click here.