Tips for Firearm Owners to Keep Kids Safe from Misuse
All firearm owners have the responsibility to make sure their firearms are stored properly and safely in their homes. Every year, many children are injured or killed because they find guns in their homes that are not stored safely. Hiding guns in closets, drawers and other places is not a sufficient storage solution. These simple tips help homeowners keep their children and guests safe from unauthorized use of firearms.
- Unload all firearms before storing, and store the firearms in a locked safe or cabinet.
- Make storage locations of guns inaccessible to guests and children.
- Store ammo in a locked container that is in a separate location from the firearms.
- When disassembling firearms for safety, store the parts in different locations.
- Use gun locking devices to make the firearms impossible to operate.
- Always check firearms twice to ensure they are unloaded.
Many children are curious about firearms, so it is important to teach them about safety. Regardless of opinions about gun ownership, all parents should do this. Children may visit their friends' homes and find firearms that are improperly stored. If this happens to a curious child, the child could be harmed or killed. Always tell children to assume a gun they find is real. Parents should make sure children know not to touch the gun, to alert an adult immediately and to tell any other children they are with not to touch the gun. Parents who buy toy guns for their very young kids should choose ones that do not look realistic.
Another good solution for firearm safety is a cable-style lock. They should not be substituted for safe storage and regular safety checks. Locks are meant to discourage unauthorized use when all other safety methods are insufficient. Project Childsafe has information and resources for these types of locks and many more safety solutions.
Keeping a firearm is a constitutional right, but it is one that should be taken seriously with a high level of responsibility. The actions of irresponsible gun owners reflect badly on responsible ones, so everyone must do their part to practice thorough safety steps. When purchasing one or more firearms, be sure there is adequate storage to keep them locked up safely. People who live with other adult family members should discuss firearm purchases with other household members before buying any. If the choice meets everyone's approval, all household members should be educated about safety techniques and safe storage of a firearm.
People living with family members who have a felony criminal record or mental illness should reconsider their purchase. If it is necessary to purchase a firearm, it must be kept in a locked safe that only the owner is able to open. Some safes have fingerprint-based technology for locks, which can be helpful when the gun is purchased for self-defense purposes. Lockable cases are also an option for people who live in high-crime areas where home invasions are likely. The overall idea to remember is to make safety practices a regular habit. Some firearm owners become too lax with safety, and this mistake can have deadly consequences. New firearms should be specially insured after they are purchased. For more information about home insurance and firearms, discuss concerns with an agent.
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