Local News

UNC Survey: Police Officers Keep Weapons Loaded, Unlocked At Home

Posted August 1, 2001 4:59 a.m. EDT

— While police officers do a lot to encourage gun safety in homes, many of them do not take that message home with them.

A report released Wednesday by UNC-Chapel Hill reveals 44 percent of officers keep their weapons loaded and unlocked at home.

"This may put officers and their families at increased risk for firearm-related injuries," said Dr. Tamera Coyne-Beasley, assistant professor of community pediatrics and internal medicine at the UNC School of Medicine.

Many mentioned that they had been threatened by those they arrested, had seen people they had arrested in the community when they were off duty or knew that arrestees could obtain their addresses from the Internet.

"Those owning firearms for self-protection were more likely to keep their firearms loaded," Coyne-Beasley said.

For the study, researchers surveyed more than 200 officers in an unidentified southern town.