Anyone who owns a firearm or comes into contact with a firearm must know how to act responsibly and takes steps to educate members of his or her family to do the same.
Firearm accidents in homes can be prevented by making sure that firearms are unloaded and safely stored with ammunition secured in a separate location.
Tips for Adults
1. Make sure that guns in your home are securely stored out of the reach of children. Unloaded firearms can be secured with a firearm locking device to make them inoperable. Other options for storage include a locked cabinet, safe or firearm vault.
2. Always store ammunition in a locked location separate from firearms and out of the reach of children.
3. Always re-check firearms carefully when you remove them from storage. Accidents have occurred when a family member has borrowed or loaned a firearm and returned it while still loaded.
4. Never load a sporting firearm in the home. Always unload and clean sporting firearms carefully and completely. Immediately store them in their proper locked storage location after returning from a hunting trip or a day at the range.
5. If you feel quick access to a firearm in your home is needed, you must take special safety measures. Keeping a firearm to defend your family makes no sense if that same firearm puts family members or visitors to your home at risk.
6. If keeping a firearm for home security is your main objective, the firearm should be readily available to you, yet not accessible to others. Special lockable cases that can be opened quickly by authorized individuals should be considered.
7. Never hide a firearm in an unlocked location that you think will not be discovered by a child. Fatal home accidents can occur when children discover firearms that adults thought were safely hidden and out of reach.
8. Treat and handle every firearm as if it were loaded. Always keep the muzzle pointed down in a safe direction, and never point a firearm at a person, even if you believe the gun to be rendered safe and unloaded.
9. When handling a gun, keep fingers off the trigger. Never rely only on a gun’s “safety” device.
10. Always discuss firearm safety with children. Even if you do not own a firearm, chances are your child may visit a home that does contain firearms.
Tips for Children
1. Don’t go looking for firearms in your house or in a friend’s house. Do not let friends go looking for firearms in your house.
2. If you come across a firearm, leave it alone! Don’t touch it! Don’t let anyone else touch it!
3. Tell an adult immediately. This is not being a “tattle-tale”. It could mean saving someone’s life.
4. Even if a firearm looks like a toy, do not touch it! Real guns can be mistaken for toys. It is easy to confuse them. Don’t take a chance. Tell an adult.
For free gun locks email email@example.com. Ask for a Gun Safety Awareness presentation for children by contacting Ashley Glover at firstname.lastname@example.org or 661.392.6914.
This is part of the March 28, 2014 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.
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