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GunSitters, LLC

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GunSitters is a secure firearms storage system with locations in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Maryland. Owners Eric Rebels and Vince Damiano established their first location in 2012 in Whippany, NJ (which is where their headquarters is, as well)..[1] It is a service for responsible gun owners to securely store their firearms whether they are going on vacation, moving, going through a divorce, have curious adolescent children, or being deployed for military service.[2] It also has programs to help anyone who was displaced because of a natural disaster, fire, or State of Emergency and to help respect the final wishes of someone who passed with a firearm collection.[3]

Overview[edit]

GunSitters began in 2012 when co-owner, Eric Rebels, had a friend going through a divorce and facing domestic harassment charges. This person had firearms in their home, which, Eric knew, were going to be seized and it would be costly for the litigation in order for him to get them back. Eric and co-owner, Vince Damiano, conferred with gun right experts and law enforcement agencies to create a legal and secure firearms solution.[4]

Back in the 1980's, Bill Michas (a developer) built a strip mall in Whippany, NJ. In the process, he created a "3,000 square foot underground [Diebold] vault" that was meant "for a safe deposit box business", which never opened.[4] However, in 1983, Eric decided to use it to start his first business, Data Safe, Inc.[5] As the need to store data lessened, it opened up room in the vault, which Eric saw as an opportunity to utilize to safely store firearms.[4]

The vault, itself, is surrounded by three feet of concrete "with steel-plated floors, ceilings, and walls and [has] a 10,000-pound dynamite [now we say explosive]-proof door."[4]

GunSitters has complied with several attorney general offices, state police, and the ATF (Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives).[4]

Reasons for Use[edit]

GunSitters is "the only actionable gun control measure" because "firearm owners are now able to take action and place their guns in their own personal [secure and off-site] storage space to keep control of them." GunSitters does not take ownership over the firearms. The owner retains ownership over their firearms. They can also "come and go as {they} please without state or federal paperwork during business hours or by special appointment."[2]

Some reasons and situations to use GunSitters are...

  • Temporary Needs: A person is going on vacation or a business trip, they are moving and/or selling their home, or they are snow birds going away for some time.[2]
  • Limited Storage Space: A person has a growing collection, going through an estate planning, or liquidation.[2]
  • Accessibility: There are young children in the home[2] (ATF|5300.2 - Youth Handgun Safety Act Notice..."Federal law prohibits, except in certain limited circumstances, anyone under 18 years of age from knowingly possessing a handgun, or any person from selling, delivering, or otherwise transferring a handgun to a person under 18."[6]), or there are concerns from a domestic partner.[2]
  • Domicile Displacement: There was a State of Emergency, a military transfer or deployment, or a person is going through a foreclosure.[2]
  • Legal Situations: A person is going through a divorce, legal violations, there are mental health concerns[2] (18 U.S.C. 922(g)(4)…"Any person who has been 'adjudicated as a mental defective' or 'committed to a mental institution' is prohibited under Federal law from shipping, transporting, receiving, or possessing any firearm or ammunition."[7]), substance abuse and/or addiction[2] (Gun Control Act of 1968…"It shall be unlawful for any licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, licensed dealer, or licensed collector to sell or otherwise dispose of any firearm or ammunition to any person knowing or having reasonable cause to believe that such person is an unlawful user of or addicted to [marijuana] or any depressant or stimulant drug or narcotic drug."[8]), or estate issues.[2]
  • Military Service: A person is being deployed, permanent change of stations (PCS), they are going to schools (TDY), there are extended operations, and for veterans.[2]

Programs[edit]

There are several programs a person can sign up for through GunSitters. They include anything from a simple firearm storage to being there if a person is displaced from their home.[3] These programs are:

  • Firearm Storage (Custodial Custody): With this program, a person is able to maintain ownership of their firearms and store it in GunSitters secure firearm storage vaults. It is designed for anyone with limited storage, going on vacation, an apprehensive spouse, a curious child(ren), or they are selling their residence.[3]
  • Voluntary Non-Custodial Firearm Storage Agreement: With this program, a person voluntarily places their firearms into storage instead of having it confiscated by law enforcement.[3]
  • Firearm Transferred Storage: With this program, a person signs over their firearms to a GunSitters affiliate FFL, until they are legally able to regain possession. It is designed for anyone going through a divorce, has a restraining order on them, have been accused of domestic violence, or has mental health concerns. However, if the person is not allowed to receive their firearms, they are sold with the value retained.[3]
  • The Firearm Legacy Program: With this program, GunSitters ensures the collection of someone who passed on is legally passed down to those who they named in their final wishes. GunSitters will place the collection in storage during the probate process. Once it is concluded, GunSitters will also ensure that the heir has all of the necessary licenses and paperwork done before delivering the firearms to them. However, if the heir does not want the firearms, GunSitters will arrange the sale of them, returning the value to the estate.[3]
  • GunSitters Emergency Support Storage: With this program, anyone who was uprooted from their home because of a natural disaster, State of Emergency, fire, or flood, their collection will be securely stored until they are reestablished. The first month of storage is free of charge. If the storage needs to be extended, there will be a charge, which may be reimbursed through home owners or renter's insurance.[3]

Military Service/Weapons Guard[edit]

For members of the Armed Forces, there is a non-profit organization called Weapons Guard (started by co-owner, Vince Damiano)[9], which provides a grant for the safe storage of the service member's firearm in any situation including: deployment, change of duty station, vacation, safety concerns, legal issues, divorce, and change in gun laws. Weapons Guard does this in proportion to the status of the service member.[10]

Locations/Facilities[edit]

GunSitters has licensed locations in[11]

  • Whippany, New Jersey
  • Easton, Pennsylvania
  • Salisbury, Maryland
  • Gaithersburg, Maryland

Pending locations are in.[11]

  • Great Meadows, New Jersey
  • Maui, Hawaii

See Also[edit]

Gun for Hire Radio Broadcasts:

References[edit]

  1. Nappen, Evan F. (12 September 2017). New Jersey Gun Law. Fugio Press. p. 233. ISBN 9781304553980. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 Damiano, Vince. "GunSitters Secure Firearm Storage". GunSitters Firearm Storage. Retrieved 27 July 2018.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 Damiano, Vince. "GunSitters - How it Works". GunSitters Firearm Storage. Retrieved 27 July 2018.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Di Ionno, Mark (16 January 2016). "For gun owners, an alternative to seizure". NJ.com. Retrieved 27 July 2018.
  5. "Bio - About Us". datasafe-nj.com. Retrieved 24 September 2018.
  6. "ATF I 5300.2 — Youth Handgun Safety Act Notice". www.atf.gov. Retrieved 17 September 2018.
  7. "Federal Firearms Prohibition under 18 U.S.C. 922(g)(4) Persons Adjudicated as a Mental Defective or Committed to a Mental Institution". ATF.gov. Retrieved 17 September 2018.
  8. "Public Law 90-618-October 22,1968" (PDF). www.gpo.gov. Retrieved 17 September 2018.
  9. Damiano, Vince. "Our Story". Weapons Guard. Retrieved 3 October 2018.
  10. Damiano, Vince. "Weapons Guard - Non Profit Firearms Foundation". GunSitters Firearm Storage. Retrieved 27 July 2018.
  11. 11.0 11.1 Damiano, Vince. "GunSitters Locations". GunSitters Firearm Storage. Retrieved 27 July 2018.

External Links[edit]

www.gunsitters.com (official site for GunSitters)

www.weaponsguard.com (official site for Weapons Guard)

GunSitters Article[edit]

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