There are too many news stories about how guns in the home were not stored in the safest possible ways. More than ever before, kids today are exposed to gun use on television programs, video games, unending war stories and other influences. They’re naturally interested when their parents own guns.
Some advocates of strict gun control believe there can be no absolutely safe place to store guns at a home. Even the most secure safes and lockers can be vulnerable to curious children who can figure out how to find the keys or work the combination locks. However, if parents take all possible precautions, there are ways to avoid those tragic headlines.
1. Teach your children early to respect the dangers guns in the home can cause. Their curiosity should be satisfied with instructions on gun safety and strict rules for handling them. Make it clear that guns are not toys, and trying to get the weapons themselves to show to playmates or for any other reason is absolutely forbidden.
2. If you decide to have guns in your home, you must take every precaution to keep them from ever getting into the hands of children at time when you’re not there with them. If you plan to be away on trips of more than a few days, ask a neighbor to store your guns in a secure place or take them to a trusted gun dealer.
3. Guns and ammunition should be stored and locked away separately in secure wall safes or lockers. A more secure system would be that the safes or lockers and everything else involved in gun use be locked in a separate room or closet of the house.
4. The guns should not be loaded while stored in your home. Children should not be allowed near gun and ammunition storage areas without the presence of an adult. Children should never have access to the keys or lock combinations.
5. Obey all official laws and license requirements that pertain to owning and operating specific types of firearms, including starting guns, pistols, rifles and shotguns. Keep all paperwork up-to-date and stored for easy retrieval when you must show them to authorities and to periodically renew them.
The safest ways to store guns in a home with children is to keep them locked securely away from any possible access to the children.