The small Pennsylvania-based nonprofit Hold My Guns® describes itself as “for gun owners, by gun owners.” Its mission is to “connect responsible firearm owners with voluntary firearms storage, through our national network of partnering FFLs, during times of mental health crisis or personal need.”

The process is simple. If a gun owner wants to securely store their weapons, they go to the website, find a participating Federal Firearm Licensee in their area, bring in their guns, fill out a contract and agree to pay a small fee for firearm storage, usually $5-$20 per month. When they pick up their guns, they fill out an ATF Form 4473, which makes the process compliant with ATF’s custodial storage regulations, and then take their guns home.

Sarah Joy Albrecht, founder and executive director of Hold My Guns®, says gun owners have used their safe storage during military deployments, while on vacation, during a difficult divorce, after a watermain break, while they cared for an at-risk foster child, and if someone is struggling with mental health.

“If people have a way to store firearms with family and friends who they trust, it’s not always ideal to take their firearms to an FFL. However, not everyone is blessed with friends or family who can help. That’s how we can meet their needs as a community who cares,” Albrecht said. “And it’s not always the gun owner who is the person at risk, but it’s the gun owner being responsible for their household.”

Second Amendment attorney Joshua Prince of the Firearms Industry Consulting Group®, serves as the nonprofit’s legal counsel. Prince developed the contracts used by the FFLs, which have sections for state and local laws pertaining to firearm transfers and guided the group through ATF’s regulatory pitfalls.

Albrecht described Hold My Guns® as a “liberty-based” nonprofit. She pointed out that when she refers to gun safety, she actually means gun safety, not gun control. Throughout the process, the gun owner’s privacy is tantamount, especially given today’s “red flag climate.”

Albrecht didn’t hesitate when asked about her nonprofit’s biggest success:

“Someone went with a friend to drop off their guns at a storage partner, who could tell there was something going on. It’s hard to bring in your firearms, but they were grateful for the help. A month or two later when they picked them up, the gun owner was smiling. It was clear that whatever the situation was, it was not much of a problem anymore. There was a sense of happiness and relief. The gun owner was proud of themselves for being able to manage the situation and grateful for the service,” she said.

Secure funding needed

During 2022, the nonprofit’s FFLs stored five firearms. During 2023, 144 firearms were stored.

As of this week, Hold My Guns® had nine volunteer FFLs in its network. Albrecht is the nonprofit’s only paid employee, and she doesn’t take home much.

At a board meeting Monday night, Albrecht announced the nonprofit had only three months of funding left.

“We need a secure funding source that will allow us to continue,” she told the Second Amendment Foundation Tuesday. “We have turned down funding that had gun control attached. I have to be able to sleep at night, and I need to make sure there are no strings attached to any gun control. It’s important that those investing in our mission are staunch Second Amendment supporters.”

“We need more FFLs, and we need a funding source that doesn’t include any form of gun control,” Albrecht said. “It’s the only way we can keep going. We are doing this for our own community, to be able to equip them with this service if it’s ever needed. We want to be able to meet our community’s needs.”

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