How to Talk to Children About Guns
Although this conversation may be a bit awkward at first, it is a very important conversation to have. Experts believe that children will be far less curious about guns and more likely to follow safety rules when they are informed by their parents.
Here are some basic points to mention to your children during this conversation.
- STOP. This step is important because it gives your child a period to process and reflect on the rest of the rules.
- DON’T TOUCH. A gun is not dangerous unless it is handled.
- RUN AWAY. This rule will ensure your child flees from the vicinity of the gun.
- TELL A GROWN-UP. Make sure to tell your child that if a parent is not around, he/she can tell another trusted adult such as a family friend, teacher, neighbor, family member, etc.
How to Store Guns Safely
You can communicate with your child about how dangerous guns are as many times as you want but they are still children. Curiosity can still be a factor in your child disobeying the rules. Follow these tips to prevent children from getting their hands on your firearms.
- Unload your gun before storing it.
- Store guns in a gun safe that is hidden and out of reach from children.
- If you must travel with a gun, buy a on-the-go gun safe.
- Securely store ammunition. It would be a good idea to have a separate hiding place than the firearm. This way if a child does come into contact with your gun, there are no bullets available to shoot.
- Inform other family members/family friends on how to safely store a firearm. You could follow all of these tips and your children still end up with a firearm in their hands because other loved ones are not properly storing their weapons.
Without the proper precautionary measures put in place, the same weapon that is supposed to provide safety for your family can become a source of danger. Follow the tips above to ensure your firearms are stored safely at home and while traveling. Equally as important, make your children aware of how dangerous guns can be and the steps that should be followed in a situation where they do stumble upon a gun.