Owning a gun is a huge responsibility. There are checks in place to ensure that people who buy guns are safe and responsible. But what happens when you bring a gun into a home that already has children?
If you have children in the home, that responsibility is even greater. You must take steps to ensure that your guns are stored safely and securely, out of the reach of curious little hands. There have been plenty of accidents wherein children accidentally shoot themselves or someone else with a parent’s gun.
Here are some tips that can help ensure your hobbies would not hurt the ones you love.
Lock Up Your Guns
Guns should be stored unloaded and locked up, with the ammunition locked up separately. You can purchase a good quality gun display case where you can show off your collection, protect them from dust, deter theft, and prevent children from getting access to them.
It’s also a good idea to have a gun safe that is bolted to the floor or wall so that it cannot be easily moved or tipped over. Be sure to keep the combination or key to the gun safe or cabinet out of reach of children.
In addition, you can keep the bullet in a separate and secure place. That way, if someone gets access to the guns, they wouldn’t be able to operate them.
Use a Gun Lock
In addition to keeping your guns in a locked cabinet or safe, you can also use gun locks. These will render the gun inoperable, even if someone were to get access to it.
You can purchase trigger locks, which go over the trigger and prevent it from being pulled. Cable locks go through the gun’s action and make it impossible to fire. Chamber locks block the loading of ammunition into the chamber.
Whichever type of lock you choose, be sure to keep the key or combination in a secure place out of reach of children.
Communicate the Danger
Guns are dangerous. It is important that children know this from an early age, especially when they are growing up in a home that has guns. Teach them that guns are not toys and should never be played with. Emphasize the importance of never touching a gun unless an adult is present.
If you have older children, talk to them about gun safety and what to do if they ever come across a gun. It’s important that they know how to safely handle a gun, should the need ever arise. For example, if a friend somehow gets a hold of a gun, if they know how to turn the safety lock on, it could save a life.
It’s inevitable that they will see guns and gun use in media. Sit down with them and talk about what they’re seeing. Help them to understand the difference between real life and Hollywood. In real life, guns are not used for fun or games—they can kill, maim, and destroy.
Have a Strict Gun Policy in the Home
It’s important that everyone in the house is on the same page when it comes to guns. If you have guns in the home, decide as a family what the rules and regulations are going to be. For example, will everyone in the house be allowed to handle the guns? If so, will there be any training required first?
It’s also important to set ground rules for visitors in the home. Will they be allowed to see the guns? If so, will they be supervised? It’s best to err on the side of caution when it comes to children and guns.
Be a Good Role Model
Parents should set a good example by always following gun safety rules themselves. Children should be taught about gun safety as well and should understand that guns are not toys. If you have guns in the home, your child should know how to find and activate the safety, and how to tell if a gun is loaded. They should also know what to do if they see an unattended gun.
In addition, be sure to model good gun safety habits when you are using your guns. For example, always keep the gun pointed in a safe direction, and never point it at anything you don’t intend to shoot. If you are handling a gun, make sure that your children know not to come near you or disturb you until you are finished.
Owning a gun is serious business, especially if you have young children in the home. By taking proper precautions and teaching your children about gun safety, you can help keep everyone in your home safe.