Gun control is a controversial topic; but what isn't controversial is the idea that firearms should be used safely and responsibly. Whether you're a firearm owner or just a concerned citizen, there are things you can do to promote gun safety in your home.
Teach respect for firearms
Regardless of whether or not you allow your children to play with toy guns, it's important they know that it's never OK to play with a real gun. Explain that real guns can have real consequences, such as injury or death. Similarly, show kids what to do when they come into contact with a gun, even if you don't have one in your own home.
Store firearms safely
Storing a gun safely is arguably just as important, if not more, than using it responsibly. The aim of any firearm storage system is to protect guns from damage and theft, and to keep them from firing on accident. There are a wide variety of storage and safety options for when your gun is not in use, including gun cabinets and safes, trigger locks, and gun cases. Firearms that are not intended for self defense should be stored unloaded and separately from ammunition. Weapons that are in the home for defense purposes should be out of sight or reach of children. Always keep these weapons on safe, use a trigger lock, and never keep a round in the chamber.
Know your child's friends
It's important that you know if your kids are playing in a home where there is a gun present. Don't be shy about asking other parents this question directly. If the answer is yes, be sure the family has taken precautions to story the gun properly, or don't allow your child to play there.
Model safe gun practices
If your family uses firearms for hunting or sporting activities on a regular basis, it's worth it to make sure that everyone has basic gun safety training. Responsible gun use begins with your example, however. Always follow basic safety procedures like keeping the muzzle down and your finger off the trigger. Never play around with a gun, and don't operate firearms for any reason when under the influence of alcohol.
Take a safety course:
There are plenty of opportunities for people of all ages to learn the essentials of responsible gun use and ownership.
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