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New program helps people safely store guns

The South Dakota Military Heritage Alliance launched a new program to help store guns to improve safety for gun owners.

The program is called “store my gun” and is not only open to veterans, but to all people.

At the alliance, gun safety is a top priority.

Whether it’s showing people how to properly handle a gun or helping with several other services such as counseling or financial help.

Brian Phelps is the executive director for the South Dakota Military Heritage Alliance in Sioux Falls and says the store my gun program can be utilized in several instances.

“People that are going through different things in their life, whether it be grandkids moving back in, kids moving back to the house, maybe they’re on medications where they’re’ feeling a little self-abusive, metal health problems,” said Brian Phelps, South Dakota Military Heritage Alliance executive director.

Veterans suicide prevention is also a contributing factor.

“We lose twenty-two veterans a day, and that’s just absolutely unacceptable so they need some sort of resource that they can trust and be able to hold onto their stuff,” said Nik Vantine, South Dakota Military Heritage Alliance assistant manager.

While other gun storage programs exist across the country, the alliance says they wanted to do more to offer support.

“Ours takes it a step further, where we secure it for you, we offer the cleaning, we offer the preservation, and we offer the place to come and talk,” said Vantine.

And with safety in mind, they wanted to make the process as accessible as possible.

“Just show up, talk to the guys in the gun range, they will explain the program to you. We’ve got a big walk-in vault, and we’ve got a big storage area. So, we can take, whether it’s just one handgun, one rifle, or like I said, the whole collection that you may have,” said Phelps.

The alliance is excited to see the program grow and evolve.