Gun Safety Guide for Homeowners with Kids
On what it seemed like an ordinary day, a 26-year old mother was busy cleaning her room when she suddenly heard a gunshot. Quickly rushing to their living room, she was horrified to see her three-year-old son shot her boyfriend’s daughter or the same age.
A kid as young as three killing another kid is surely frightening and somewhat unbelievable, but what’s even more terrifying is that this tragic event is not an isolated case. Many kids around the country have been involved in accidental shootings.
According to studies, American kids have sixteen times higher probability of being killed by accidental gun shooting compared to kids living in other first world countries.
Because it is quite easy for Americans to acquire guns, it is the responsibility of every gun owner to secure their guns and make sure that their loved ones are safe.
Be Aware of Your Children
It is your responsibility as a gun owner to practice gun safety measures, especially when you keep guns at home. Most accidental shooting incidents happen at home, mainly among children and teens.
Your kids should be the top priority in gun safety measures. They are the most vulnerable to gun hazards, especially because of their inherent curiosity. Talk to them about guns. Make sure that they learn and understand basic firearm safety procedure.
For example, you can instruct them that when they see a gun, they should refrain from touching it and instead report its presence immediately to an adult.
Your kids should know that these weapons are harmful things and not toys that they could play with. They should understand and respect the power behind guns.
To achieve this, you must not let them watch shows that involve gun violence, especially cartoons who take these matters lightly. When they see their favorite TV characters shoot people, they might have a tendency to imitate the action.
Also, observe your kids’ play and see if they include gun shooting. If possible, avoid buying your kids toy guns because those can encourage violence and may later lead to the real gun shooting.
If your kids have friends who are visiting your home, inform their parents that you are keeping a gun at home. Likewise, if your kids are visiting a friend’s house, ask their friend’s parents if there is a gun in their home.
Invest in A Gun Safe
Most people who buy guns for safety only think of how to use it properly, especially if there are emergencies for self-defense. However, it is also very important to focus on keeping the gun safe and away from the reach of children, teens, or burglars.
Around 70 percent of gun accidents involving kids could have been prevented if the gun owner only followed gun safety procedures. This proves that keeping a gun safe from unauthorized use is a necessity and not an option.
Though teaching a child about guns is important, it is never enough. Kids can be really playful and curious so it is important not to give them access to guns.
The first step is to clean and unload the gun before storing. Unloading your gun can help you avoid accidental shootings.
Next, you should store and lock it in a gun safe or any locked case. Gun safes might be a bit expensive but if you have a child at home, it is a necessary investment.
A good quality gun safe is sturdy and durable. It should be waterproof so the gun is safe from harsh weather conditions such a rain, snow, or storms. When exposed to moisture, guns may malfunction and cause accidents that can put you at risk too.
It should also be dust-free and fire-proof so the safe can be able to withstand fires and high temperature. This feature can also prevent the safe from corroding easily.
After placing the gun inside the safe, keep it locked and away from your kids’ reach. Keys should also be hidden from the kids.
If you are using a safe with number combinations as passwords, you are the only one who should have access to the password code. Never use a password that is easy to guess such as a family member’s birthday.
For more safety measures, you can anchor your safe so no one else would be able to move it. You can also store the ammunition in a separate case. If you can, buy another locked case for the ammunitions.
If you have more money, you can use trigger locks to avoid accidental firing. In some states, gun owners are required by the government to use a gun trigger locks. These locks can make sure that no one can use the gun without your permission.
Always Safety First
Just remember, never to leave your gun in a place accessible to your kids. To do this, it is important to avoid using your gun at home.
Having a gun at home has had a negative connotation because of all the firearm accidents reported by the media. However, as long as you practice basic firearm safety procedures, you can still ensure the safety of your loved ones, especially your child.
Explaining to your kids the importance of gun safety and showing a good example of not using the gun at home, except in emergency situations, can help your kids understand why they should not use a gun.
Also, if there are other adults in your home who are authorized to use guns, talk to them about gun safety and prioritizing the welfare of your kids.