While we might have more guns in the United States than people, it is important not to get complacent about gun ownership. Gun ownership is about responsibility, and you should keep up a culture of responsibility around your firearms if you are going to keep them in your home. Failing to be responsible with your guns greatly increases the chances for things like gun violence, suicide, and accidental injury or death. Here are some important things to remember to be gun smart in your home...
Keep guns in a safe
First of all, if you are going to keep guns in your home, then it is important to invest in a reliable gun safe. Guns become dangerous when people get careless with them, and nothing shows carelessness like making your firearms easily accessible to everyone. Having a gun safe means that your guns are always secure, and that there is a process to go through to remove them from the safe. If you keep a firearm for self defense, in the case of home intrusion, then make sure that is the only gun that isn’t locked in your safe, and don’t leave it out when you aren’t home.
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Don’t keep firearms loaded
On average, over 500 people die in the United States every year because of an accidental or negligent discharge of a firearm. There are any number of reasons why an accidental death might occur from a firearm, but one of the biggest things you can do to protect yourself, your friends, and your family against such an incident is by not keeping your guns loaded. There should be a process that you go through to use a firearm, and keeping a bullet in the chamber makes it far too easy for a slight movement to cause a mistake that could end a life.
Make sure children can’t access any firearms
Did you know that over 900 children between the ages of 0 and 19 die from suicide by firearm, every year, in the United States? In addition to that, over 100 of the people who die, annually, from an accidental firearm discharge are children. It should be imperative that you make it so that your firearms aren’t easily accessible to your children, or any of their friends. Kids are naturally curious about guns, and it’s far too risky that they might have a dangerous attitude around guns. This goes back to getting a gun safe, but it should be reiterated how this is twice as important when children are in the home.
Teach your kids to be responsible around guns
Continuing with kids and guns, if you are going to have guns in your home, then it isn’t enough to just make sure that your children can’t access them. You also need to educate them on how to be responsible and safe around firearms. You can’t really start too early with these lessons. As soon as your child is old enough to understand what a gun is, stress to them how dangerous they can be if you are careless with them. When they are old enough, take your child how to shoot at targets so that they can understand the fundamentals of how to operate a firearm, so that they know the right way and wrong way to be safe with a gun.
Don’t mix firearms and alcohol
Aside from children, another one of the most potent mixes of firearm-based destruction is when you combine firearms and alcohol. This should be a huge red line that you refuse to cross in your household. If you are having a social gathering and alcohol is going to be present, then be sure that your guns are safely locked away and out of reach. Even if you want to show someone a gun or accessory that they might think is cool, just wait until everyone is sober to do so.