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6 Rules Keeping Your Children Safe from Guns

by Zayn Karim

Turn on the TV or listen to the news and you are more-than-likely to hear about an incident involving children handling a gun. A child may accidentally fire the weapon and injure another child or sibling while the parents are away. Shootings in schools by young children and teens are also becoming common place. This leads to grievous harm and death. This has many people worried about the whole gun ownership issue.

Are you aware that firearms come second in regard to cause of death among children? Also, do you know that as many as 1.7 million children in the US live in homes where an unloaded or loaded firearm is present? What this means is chances are higher in these homes that a child could be injured or will injure someone else with a firearm. Statistics show that 1300 minors are killed and 5790 are injured each year due to firearms.

So, as a parent, guardian, grandparent, neighbor, or older sibling, what steps can you take to make the children safe from guns? Below are some of the most effective ways of keeping your children safe from guns:

1. Safely securing a Gun

Every gun owner should ensure the gun is stored in a secure place. It should be as far away from children as possible. For instance, a safe should be in the parent's / owner's bedroom and not in the living room, study room, or storage. Also, it helps to ensure the bedroom is locked when away from the room. There are lots of best gun safe under 500 in the market today. It’s also the best way to safely store your firearms. Another suggestion is to make sure all ammunition remains secured in a locked and separate safe.

2. Ensuring the Gun Isn't Loaded

One of the common mistakes made by gun holders is leaving the weapon loaded. Yes, you may have a strong safe. However, it's very easy to forget locking the safe or mumbling while you enter the safes combination. You may think you did it but in the real sense, you might have forgotten. It's only after a tragedy that some parents later learn their child had gained access to their safe and opened it. After returning from a shooting range, hunting, or any other firearm related activity, the first thing you need to do is to unload and store the firearm back into your safe.

3. Making Certain the Weapon Is Locked

It's recommended that you make sure the weapon is locked when not in use. It doesn't matter if you are carrying it with you or are planning to use it briefly. It takes a little distraction for you to place the gun on the side, bench, or seat and give the curious mind an opportunity to use it.

For instance, you may place it on the table and then get involved in another activity like talking on the phone. These few minutes are enough time for tragedy to happen that could cause a fatal accident. Always make certain that ALL firearms are locked or secured at ALL times.

4. Investing in a Sturdy Safe

It's highly unlikely that a child can gain access to a weapon placed in a securely locked safe. When searching for a new gun safe make certain it’s constructed of high-quality materials and durable materials. Carbon steel is among the common materials of construction. It will resist cracking, bending, fires, and more.

So, it's highly unlikely that a child can be able to gain access. The unit should feature a simple operating mechanism which makes it easier for the gun owner to set remember the combination. As the owner, you should avoid using the combination when children are present. They may look innocent but will be observing every action. Make sure the safe combinations are not commonly used codes for other systems like the house alarm or cell phone unlocking codes.

5. Teaching Children about Firearm Safety

We can't deny that modern kids are very bright and also quite curious. Yes, you may try not to expose the gun or handle it in front of them. Nevertheless, they have seen weapons being used on television, at the movies and are going to be inquisitive on how they work. Rather than trying to pretend or ignoring the whole issue, you’re better off talking to them about guns and firearm safety.

You should educate them about guns if they are going to be present in your home. Teaching children to never touch a gun unless a parent is present and had instructed them to. Every child needs to treat ALL firearms as if they were loaded and NEVER point a gun at another person. While there is not a specific age to start teaching your kids about guns the age of 9 is traditional considered the best age to start this training.

6. Keeping Ammunition Far from the Gun

According to research, 75% of kids aged between 5 and 14 years know where the firearm is stored in their home. Many parents or older siblings believe that they have properly hidden the gun or rifle only to be shocked that the kids not only know but 1 of 3 children has actually come into contact with the firearm. Many people focus on the gun or rifle and forget about the ammunition.

Experts advise that the ammunition should be kept separate from the firearm. In case the child gets access to the gun, he/she won't be able to discharge the gun without ammunition. Nevertheless, they should not be kept too far just in case you need access them.

In Conclusion

Firearms are designed to help us protect ourselves and our homes. Armed homeowners can stop burglars, thieves, or other unscrupulous individuals. However, in the wrong hands or when improperly handled, they can cause accidental fatalities. Children are among the most likely users who may mishandle the gun. They are naturally inquisitive and might try to operate it or imitate what they’ve seen their parents, and other people doing.

Sadly, this curiosity can lead to terrible injuries or even death. These children might shoot themselves, a sibling, neighbor, schoolmate, or a parent. The only way to prevent such incidences is by making certain the children don't have access to the weapons and ammunition store in our homes. This entails proper storage, ensuring it's never loaded, keeping the ammunition safe, firearms with trigger locks, investing in a strong safe, and teaching your kids about gun safety.

Keeping your children safe from guns is as easy as following the above guidelines.

 

About the Author,

 

Zayn Karim is a Blogger from Denver. He is currently doing MS in Computer Science from the University of Colorado. He has over 5 years of experience in the field of Guns & Sports. He likes to share his discoveries, experiences and express at his blog Tickarise.com

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