Gun safety is no laughing matter. With a myriad of shootings appearing the news more often than we’d like, it’s important to keep in mind how we approach owning guns with children in the home.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when thinking of ways to keep the little ones—and yourself—safe.
One of the most effective methods for keeping a kid’s paws off your gun is to keep it out of his reach. Place your gun up high where only an adult has access to it, and where a child couldn’t easily place a chair in front of to help them get to it. You might consider keeping it in a locked attic if you’ve got the pull-down variety—there’s no way your kid can reach the string, we hope.
Lock Them Up
This one seems like a no brainer, but far too many people forget to do it. Buy a safe devoted to your firearms and keep the key someplace your child will never find it. On your person is a good spot as long as you’re alert, or another locked drawer will suffice. Some people even keep the keys to their safe in their locked car.
Don’t Wear It
It’s fine to carry your gun on you while you’re out and about for protection, but having it on you in the home, especially when playing with your child, is often unnecessary and can be dangerous. Particularly, too many accidental shootings are caused when a parent falls asleep with their gun still attached and the child finds it and pulls the trigger. If you’re worried about home safety, there are many great smart security systems on the market you can look into as well.
Train Your Child In Gun Safety
If you’re going to have a gun in the home, your child should know how to handle one. They should know why it’s dangerous and not a toy, how to tell if it’s loaded, what and where the safety is, and even how to shoot one in an emergency. Teaching your child how to properly and safely handle a gun can be a great bonding experience if done properly, but it’s vastly important to focus the majority of training on the importance of being smart with a gun in the home and explaining the damage a gun can cause.
Show Their Friends
Often, we hear that the cause of a shooting is because a child wanted to show off his parent’s gun to a friend. Instead of letting this happen, consider showing and teaching your children’s friends about guns so your kid won’t feel the need to show it off when you’re not around. Of course, you should always get approval from the child’s parents before doing this—not many parents will take it as the kind gesture you intend. It might help decrease the element of awe that an come with a gun for kids if they already see and know what it can do thanks to being properly shown by an adult.
Because gun safety is such an important topic, it’s always a good idea to sit down with the family and discuss the proper uses of a gun and why children shouldn’t handle them without adult supervision. Sit down with your spouse and come up with a sensible approach to explain the dangers and benefits of gun ownership if you’re a hunting family. Doing so could mean the difference between your child thinking your gun is a toy and respecting it for the hunting tool that it is.