For Parents: Gun Safety
If you own a gun for sport or protection, your child should not have access to it. Keep all guns and ammunition out of reach. Store them separately in locked cases, with trigger locks on the guns. Even if you don’t have a gun at home, talk to your child about gun safety. Your child’s friends may have guns in their homes, or your child may come across a gun elsewhere. Make sure he or she knows what to do.
The Role of Education
When should you give your child gun safety education? That’s up to you. You may want to ask the local police department for advice. Knowledge about safe gun handling lowers the risk of accidents. It can also teach your child to be responsible about guns.
Setting the Rules
Sit down with your child and set the rules in a family meeting. Answer all of your child’s questions. If guns are not a mystery, his or her natural curiosity may decrease. Use a log book to record when you talk about, maintain, or purchase a gun.
What Your Child Should Do
Make sure your child knows what to do around guns. Discuss the following rules:
Never touch a gun! Leave it as you find it. Tell other kids not to touch it either.
Never keep knowledge of a gun a secret. Tell an adult if you see a gun, even if you are not sure it’s a real gun.
If you see someone with a gun, go away. You should then tell an adult immediately.