A good gun owner is a responsible gun owner. Guns can be dangerous additions to a home no matter how well-trained you might be, especially if you have children. Safety absolutely has to be your priority once children are in the picture, so having a game plan in place is always a good idea. Below are a few steps you can take to keep your kids safe when there are guns in the home.
Educate Your Children
The best way to ensure good gun safety in your home is to talk to your children about your guns. Teach them how your guns work, what happens in a gun goes off, and have clear consequences for what happens when a child picks up a gun. Unfortunately, too many parents try to hide the existence of guns in their homes, a practice that can lead to tragic results.
Invest in Guns Safes
You should never leave an unsecured weapon lying around your house. Invest in properly-secured gun safes in your home that will allow you to safely store your weapon where your children can’t access them. While a higher-end biometric safe is going to ensure that only you can access your guns, even something as simple as a combination safe will allow you to keep your guns out of the hands of younger children.
Have a Safety Plan in Place
What happens if you fail to put away your guns safely? Though this is something that should never happen, a good gun safety plan is always helpful. The National Rifle Association has a safety plan that parents can share with their children. Even just simply teaching your children to act as if any gun is potentially loaded and to always let adults deal with the situation is a really good place to start for younger kids.
Practice What You Preach
Finally, make sure that you’re a model of good gun safety for your kids. Try to remember the basics of handling a weapon—including treating all guns like they’re loaded and never pointing them anywhere that you aren’t going to shoot—so that your child can see what safe handling looks like. Make sure to lock your gun up whenever it isn’t in use and be very clear that you look at your gun as a tool and not a toy. Modeling good behavior is the best way to teach your kids.
Children can be perfectly safe with guns in the house. Be clear about how guns work, show your children how to react to a gun that’s in plain view, and make sure that you lock your guns away safely when they aren’t in use. Safety is simply a matter of common sense and solid education.