Gun Owners: How to Ensure Your Loved Ones Are Safe
Most people buy guns to keep themselves and their family safe. However, having a gun in your home can actually put your loved ones in grave danger, especially if you do not follow safety procedures.
According to studies, keeping a gun at home can make the risk of having suicide three to five times higher, homicide three times higher, and accidental deaths four times higher. Sounds scary, right?
So should you still keep a gun at home? Well, if it is possible for you to keep your gun somewhere else, like in a firm that keeps guns, it would definitely be better.
According to studies, 94 percent of gun-related suicides would not have occurred if there are no guns present on the victims’ home. Also, 41% of gun related homicides have occurred at homes because of a gun presence.
Yet, in most cases, gun owners do not have any other options but to keep their guns at home. So how can gun owners ensure that their loved ones are safe from their own guns? Listed below are some safety measures that you can follow.
Talk to Your Child about Guns
If you have children at home, you need to talk to them about guns. As a parent or guardian, you are the first person responsible to teach kids about gun safety and violence.
In 2015, 265 children below 18 years old have been reported to pick up a firearm and accidentally shoot someone. Among these accidents, 83 have been fatal and more than half of those who died are the shooters themselves.
It is really alarming that these incidents happen, not just on teens but more prevalently among toddlers who completely have no idea how to use a gun but accidentally pulled the trigger.
Since they are the most common victims and perpetrators of accidental shootings, you should help your children understand and remember important gun safety procedures. They should know that guns are dangerous materials and not toys.
They should be warned that guns can hurt or worse kill them if they attempt to use it in any way. Tell your children that if they see a gun, they should refrain from touching it and instead, report its presence to an adult.
As much as possible, avoid using your gun at home so kids would know that it is something only used for emergencies and not for leisure, especially at home. When they see your good example, they can be more encouraged to follow your gun safety rules.
On the contrary, when they see bad examples such as gun violence on TV shows, movies, or even in your neighborhood, they can be influenced to use firearms. Always monitor what your children are watching or playing.
Know How to Handle Guns Securely
As a gun owner, it is important for you to know how to handle guns securely. Read the manual included in your gun. There should be instructions indicating how you can use your gun safely.
If you are a first-time gun owner and user, you can also enroll in classes that teach safety in gun usage. Your mentors can give you instructions on how to handle guns, especially at home.
If you are not shooting yet, always keep your gun’s muzzle pointed in a safe direction and keep your fingers away from the trigger. Accidents mostly happen by unintentionally pulling the trigger.
Also, if you are cleaning a gun after use, make sure that it is unloaded and not pointed in a direction where you can shot someone. Never hold a loaded gun except if you are ready to fire.
Store Your Guns Properly and Safely
Most gun-related accidents can be prevented if you would store the gun properly. Around 1.7 million children in the United States live in a home with a loaded gun that is not safely stored in a locked case. This is why many accidental shootings happen.
You should always store your gun in a locked case, ensuring that it can be easily accessible to you but not your children. Investing in a gun safe is very important for gun owners who have children and teens at home.
Gun safes are usually locked by using keys or passwords. If you are using keys and padlocks, make sure that you also keep the keys away from children’s reach.
If you are using alphanumeric passwords, make sure that you are the only one who knows it. The password should be easy to for you to remember yet hard for others to guess.
Always unload the gun before storing and keep your ammunitions in a separate secured box or cabinet. You can also use a trigger lock that makes the gun unusable for others who should not have access to it.
If you want your loved ones to have better protection, you can also invest in a gun alarm. This alarm can help you prevent your gun from falling into the wrong hands.
It has a motion sensing feature and produces a sound when someone attempts to get your gun so you can be alerted. It is easy to use and works on batteries.
If there are other gun users in your home, make sure that you talk to them about gun safety measures that you should follow. Your efforts would be wasted if other adults would not be careful in using their guns.
Just remember, guns are meant to be used in keeping your loved ones safe. However, if they fall into the wrong hands, they can cause pose more danger to your loved ones.