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Gun Safety 101

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By Samuetta Hill Drew

We began 2024 discussing gun safety in the home regarding children and teens since firearms are the number one killer of this demographic in America. Our safety article shared gun statistics for the number of children and teens living in homes with loaded guns and the possible consequences. We further explored the importance of asking about firearms in the home when your child is invited to a sleepover or playdate at a friend’s or family member’s home.

This week’s safety article will recap some key gun safety measures discussed while adding additional information as we wrap up this gun safety series. The seriousness of this topic and its negative impact requires a wrap up review article.

Safely storing your gun is a must and extremely critical! Therefore, we will begin this segment of our discussion by asking you the question, “What is the safest way to store a gun in the home?” Make sure you know, remember and follow the safety precautions below:

  • Keep the gun, UNLOADED and LOCKED UP in a cabinet, safe, gun vault, or storage case. Make sure your children and teens cannot access the keys or combinations to lock boxes or gun safes. An added safety tip is to make sure you do not keep loaded, unlocked guns in the car, or anywhere else on your property.
  • Store the gun and its bullets separately, not in the same location. Make sure the bullets are locked up also.
  • Consider using a gun lock (a lock that does not allow the gun to fire).

Having talks about gun safety with children and teens is helpful and even important, but it is not children’s or teens’ responsibility to understand guns. This should be the adult’s job! Children and teens are often curious and impulsive. So even when adults give well-meaning warnings, children and teens often want to explore a gun if they find it. Their minds are still developing, so it’s the adult’s duty to create “safety barriers” to help protect them. This is why safe gun storage is vital.

If your child should ask about guns, tell them guns are very dangerous and they should follow these rules if they see one:

  • Stop what they are doing.
  • Do not touch the gun or allow anyone else around them to touch it either, even if it looks like a toy.
  • Leave the area where the gun is located immediately.

Keeping an Eye on Safety when it’s relates to guns in the homes is a very serious matter and should never be taken lightly.