Taking Action: Police warn gun owners of best practices for summer firearm storage

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - Summer is a time when gun owners need to pay close attention to their firearms. While away on vacation, your guns are at risk of being stolen and landing into the hands of a criminal.

Police advise everyone to lock up their guns before leaving for an extended period of time.

"Just make sure you're being responsible with those," said Lieutenant Stacy Bates with Huntsville Police. "Keep them secure; not just laying under a bed or not just laying in a closet somewhere. If possible, put them in some type of safe or gun cabinet."

Not only does that protect them from criminals if your home were to be burglarized, it also keeps them from little ones.

"It keeps them from being in the hands of kids, especially small children who may be at home during the summer by themselves while their parents are at work," said Bates.

Bates believes being proactive by doing one simple step can help law enforcement locate a missing firearm. "The best practice that we can suggest is take a picture of all your firearms; take a picture of the serial number; keep your serial numbers written down somewhere," said Bates.

He also suggests making note of any engraving or special marking on your gun can also help in locating it.