You may have a gun in the home for any number of reasons. A 2013 Pew Research survey lists the following as the biggest factors for gun owners:
- Protection (48%)
- Hunting (32%)
- Sport shooting (7%)
- Constitutional right (2%)
- Collection/hobby (2%)
Whatever your reasoning, it’s safe to say that owning a gun comes with a set of responsibilities. Hunting and sport shooting can develop into fun family hobbies, but it’s important to teach children responsible gun use. Even if you don’t intend to allow your children to use the gun, education can make all the difference in their safety.
Follow these tips to protect your children with information about gun safety.
1. Take Away the Mystery
When it comes to gun safety, the allure of mystery poses a big threat. If your children think of guns as forbidden and unknown, they are more likely to investigate when you are not supervising.
You may choose to teach your children with a real or toy gun. Either way, it helps to identify the different parts and demonstrate safe handling. Children feel naturally curious. Take away the mystery of your guns and you will take away the appeal.
2. Allow Them to Watch You Shoot
Guns often show up on TV and in video games. As a result, children may feel confused about the serious consequences of firing a gun. To resolve this issue, you can take your child outside and allow them to watch you shoot.
Shoot a soft target, like at a watermelon or cantaloupe. This allows your children to experience the loud noise and see the damage of a gunshot. From there, they gain a better understanding of the potential consequences. Once you establish the potential danger, you can move forward with their education.
3. Let Them Shoot a BB Gun
Once your child reaches a responsible age (for most children, this occurs around age eight) you may consider buying a BB gun. This weapon will allow you to teach good habits with fewer risks. Teach your child how to load and unload a gun. Take this opportunity to also teach the importance of proper storage and transportation.
4. Teach By Example
Teaching by example may seem like a simple principle, but it’s one that is often underestimated. When your children see you use safe habits, they’ll develop those same techniques. Each time you handle the gun, put extra emphasis on safety. As a result, your children will do treat the weapon the same way.
Take Responsibility for Your Gun Ownership
In addition to teaching your children about gun safety, you have other responsibilities to tend to. Primarily, you’ll need to take care to store the gun properly. Thousands of children die in gun-related incidents each year. Of those deaths, too many result from unintentional or accidental shootings.
A gun safe in the home can help reduce the risk of accidental shooting. By installing this protective equipment, you won’t have to worry about children accessing the gun without your supervision. In truth, these impenetrable systems may make a life or death difference for your family.
Increased safety is reason enough, but the benefits of installing a safe don’t stop there. A gun safe in your home affords you the following:
- Ability to store other items like jewelry and documents
- Protection of valuable weapons
- Keeping the gun readily available to only you
The gun safe you choose will depend on your needs and the type of gun you own. These products come in a variety of sizes and colors and with a range of locking mechanisms. For more information, discuss the available options with your local locksmith.