Dr. Ty L. Bullard claimed in an op-ed in The Charlotte Observer last week that a local law enforcement officer in North Carolina told students in a state-mandated concealed carry handgun class to store firearms "under the bed, preferably loaded."
In a column called "What I learned in concealed carry class," Bullard, a native Texan and clinical assistant professor in the Department of Anesthesiology at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, wrote:
Perhaps most shocking, though, was the advice we received from a practicing law enforcement officer regarding the storage of firearms: under the bed, preferably loaded. I'm not kidding. Fifty or so families, many of whom we must presume have children in the home, walked out of that classroom with the understanding that the proper way to store your guns was in a location that is within reach of a child, and loaded. No gun safe. No trigger lock.
Bullard highlights that from 2008 to 2009 in the United States, 173 preschoolers died from gun violence, nearly double the number of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty (89).
The advice given in Bullard's class violates North Carolina statute on the storage of firearms to protect minors. (It should also be noted that not all concealed carry instructors offer the same advice.)
Bullard also expressed shock in his essay at a slew of questions asked by other people in the class, including, "What if I come home and someone is in my house? Can I take my gun inside and shoot them?"
In order to obtain a CCH permit training certificate, North Carolina residents must complete eight hours of classroom instruction on gun safety, the concealed carry statute and shooting techniques, in addition to putting in time at a shooting range.
Between 2006 and 2010, more than 1,300 individuals under the age of 25 were victims of unintentional shootings, according to the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. Their data also show that in 2010 alone, 606 people died from unintentional firearm injuries. Moreover, from December 2012 to May 2013, at least 71 children, none older than 12, lost their lives to gun violence; of those, 40 were accidental, according to research conducted by Slate and Mother Jones.
The U.S. General Accounting Office has estimated that the addition of a child-proof safety lock and a loading indicator could prevent 31 percent of unintentional deaths caused by firearms.