Do Guns Belong In Emergency Preparedness Kits?

By Phoebe Flanigan (OPB)
Portland, Oregon Aug. 14, 2015 10:30 p.m.

A break-in at a Cannon Beach emergency supply cache last spring revealed a firearm in one of the city-held emergency preparedness kits. For the city of Cannon Beach, that's a big liability.

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Brant Kucera, the Cannon Beach City Manager, said the city's working on new ways to ensure that citizens stock only approved items in the kits they keep on city property. In the future, city officials will actually do a physical review of the items in a barrel before putting barrels in storage, Kucera told OPB's daily talk show Think Out Loud Friday.

But that story sparked a bigger conversation: Should firearms be included in emergency preparedness kits?

Think Out Loud put that question to the public. Here's part of what you said:

  • "We all want to protect our loved ones. That's common. But how we do that depends." -Allison Stewart, artist and photographer based out of Los Angeles
  • "Having the means to protect yourself is wise under all circumstances." -Kevin Starrett, president of the Oregon Firearms Federation
  • "People showed their better sides in both disasters." -Gary, who lived through Hurricane Katrina and the 2011 earthquake in Japan
  • "If I were to put (a kit) together, I would include a shotgun which would give me some measure of personal security and a way to harvest food, if that became necessary." -Pat from Lakeview
  • "There is rationale on both sides of the issue ... Officially, we don't put it as one of the items that we want to remind people that they need to add into their emergency kit in order to be self-sufficient." -Laurie Holien, deputy director of the Oregon Office of Emergency Management
  • "Emergency preparedness is about much more than beans, bullets and Band-Aids." -Brett D. Matthews, emergency preparedness consultant and firearms instructor
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