Granny Get Your Gun

Granny Get Your Gun!

The feelings associated with the loss of freedom and control when transitioning into a care facility is a serious stressor. It raises significant end-of-life questions that are simply too much to face for some.”


Is gun control actually an issue that matters in the senior living industry, or are some legislators out of touch.

In the 1940 movie, Granny Get Your Gun, A Nevada woman (May Robson) prods a lawyer (Harry Davenport) and hunts a killer to clear her granddaughter (Margot Stevenson) of murder. A recent article on McKnight’s Senior Living online news makes readers aware of a new controversial law.

California Govenor Gavin Newsom (D) signed a bill into law requiring assisted living communities that allow guns on the premises ensure the firearms be unloaded, stored and locked in a gun safe with ammunition stored in a separate location. California seems to have concerns about the occurance of armed conflicts in the residential assisted living world.

The content in the article is enough to make your head spin, especially if you’re an assisted living owner, operator or caregiver. Did some horrific incidents happen in California or elsewhere that would give rise to political support protecting the elderly from guns in assisted living homes?

Have we had a rash of “Granny Get Your Gun” scenarios? After scouring the article in search of a reason for this legislative action, such an extreme decision seems unsubstantiated for assisted living homes. McKnight indicated that children are often in jeopardy when the home practices unsafe gun storage.

According to California (D) senator Anthony J. Portano, the author of the legislation, a growing senior population is generating gun safety issues as they transition into senior living. There are no legally recorded California incidents to support his claim, but the legislation is now in place. So, will California require residential assisted living caregivers to undergo gun safety training requirements?

Of course, assisted living facilities are perfectly capable of prohibiting weapons without the help of politicians. Many homes, if not most, do so as a matter of standard practice.


  1. More than 47,000 suicide deaths of adults 55 and older happened between 2003 and 2015
  2. Of the 47,759 nationwide deaths recorded, researchers only identified 1,037 deaths by suicide associated with long-term care
  3. Only 428 of these adult suicide victims were living in long-term care facilities at the time
  4. About 449 of these victims were described in death reports as being in the process of transitioning into or out of long-term care facilities

The feelings associated with the loss of freedom and control associated when transitioning into a care facility is a serious stressor. It raises significant end-of-life questions that are simply too much to face for some. Suicides are indeed a problem amongst those 55 and older, but the industry doesn’t have enough current data to develop appropriate handlings.

Rather than raising a red flag, alarming the entire residential assisted living industry nationwide, maybe legislators should fund more meaningful research involving the assisted living environment. Meaningful research could be the impetus for serious community conversations that will allow for appropriate policy development. Industry leaders hold your horses, granny’s not getting her gun, but there are many other serious issues concerning senior living.


The Residential Assisted Living National Association is the largest residential assisted living organization providing resources and support to the assisted living industry. The member-based organization stays ahead of industry shifts, detours, and changes.

In addition, your membership grants you the following:

  • Access to group purchasing power
  • Discounts with over 200 residential assisted living vendors, 
  • Legal advocacy, 
  • Industry marketing,
  • Educational services, 
  • Memory care training, 
  • Certifications, marketing, and 
  • Relevant newsletters and content.

Visit for additional information about the Do Good and Do Well business model. The good news is that RALNA is helping to transform residential assisted living leadership into high-performing management teams that produce expected results.

Are you ready to introduce these components of the industry into your assisted living business?

If you found the information on this article valuable, you’ll find enormous benefits by becoming a member of our community. Visit this page to become a RALNA Member.