Once you have children, their safety will become your number one priority. This means you might invest in a gun to keep your family safe from various threats. However, while guns can be god for protection, if they get into the wrong hands, they can cause a huge tragedy your family will never recover from. In order to avoid any gun accidents at home, make sure to employ these strategies that will keep everyone you love safe and sound.
Educate your kids
In many cases, education is one of the best safety strategies you can take. There are various programs that can teach your kids how to handle a gun safely and responsibly. However, while you can teach your youngsters about safety, this doesn’t mean you will prevent accidents. When a curious kid grabs a gun, their curiosity will overpower their common sense and they will quickly forget all about the safety measures they learned so much about. So, until kids are mature enough to stay away from weapons, it’s best to keep everything locked and safely stored.
Hiding is not enough
Many gun owners simply hide their guns somewhere in the home. However, most kids know where firearms are stored in the house and have the means to reach them. Kids are more observant than you might think, so make sure not to risk anything. Additionally, research shows that kids as young as three years old are strong enough to lift a firearm and pull the trigger. This means that age is not a factor that should direct your firearm storing strategies.
Properly store guns
The best way to protect your family is to store gun property. If you choose to keep firearms in the house, get a good gun safe that will keep your gun locked yet accessible when you need it. It’s understandable if you don’t know anything about gun safes, but you can find many practical gun safe reviews and learn which model is the best choice for you. There are various model reviews to look into (portable safes, sliders, smart safes, multiple gun safes…) so you’ll certainly find something that will fit your needs.
Ask other parents
You might not own guns, but your friends might. If your kids often go there for playdates, ask about how they store their weapons. Just like you would inquire about pets, supervision and other safety concerns, you can also ask about whether they keep guns at home and how they store them. If they keep unlocked guns, reconsider leaving your kids at their place or consult with parents about the importance of locking weapons.
Store ammunition separately
Storing your ammunition and your gun separately is a smart decision. Keep the keys for each in a different spot, our of your kids’ reach. And make sure to properly store all gun-cleaning supplies. These solvents and oils can be toxic, so it’s best to lock them up as well.
Beware of childproof guns
Some gun manufacturers promote new technology that makes guns harder for kids to fire and operate in any way. While these new features can be great in reducing the number of accidents at home, they are not 100% childproof. No matter if you purchased a gun equipped with this technology, all firearms need to be stored properly to prevent unwanted access.
Handle weapons with caution
When you’re using your guns for practice or hunting, make sure to always have your safety on until you’re ready to shoot. Always unload your gun before setting it down. Your kids might want to shoot the gun as well, but that’s never a good idea. Young kids are not capable and responsible to handle a deadly weapon no matter how well you instruct them.
Older child education and safety
Once your kids get older, and especially if they get interested in target shooting or hunting, it’s important to teach them about safe gun ownership, storage strategies, and handling. This will help them build good habits from a young age and show a good understanding of gun handling. However, if your child shows any signs of mental health issues, especially depression, consider storing your guns outside the home. Suicide is the leading cause of death among teens and it’s usually more likely to happen in families that store guns in the house. This might be something you don’t want to think or talk about, but it’s a reality we can’t escape.
No matter how careful you are, accidents happen. However, they are much less likely to happen when you responsibly keep your guns and practice careful gun handling.