Friday, October 29, 2010

Shedding Light on Firearm Safety in your Home

By A. Devia

The motto of Police Officers is "To Serve and Protect".  Consider that for a moment, serve and protect.  Protect but not defend.  It would be impossible for police to be in the right place at the right time to defend any and all citizens from crime.  If they could, we would never have another victim again.  The fact of the matter, is police are often called after a crime is in the making or even over.  If someone tries to harm you or your family, a personal firearm may be your best defense.

Of course, the safe use and storage of such a firearm is of utmost importance, especially if there are children in your home.  Below you will find a few tips.

  • Unload the firearm.  A firearm without ammunition is not any more dangerous than a paperweight.
  • Double check that a firearm is unloaded before handling or cleaning it.  Do not assume a mechanical safety latch is enough.
  • Remove the curiosity factor.  Curiosity killed the cat.  It can also kill children.  Whether you have a firearm in the house or not, take the time to explain to your children the dangers of firearms and proper actions to take if they ever come across one - "Don't touch. Tell an adult."  If you do have a firearm in the house, make sure it is unloaded and then show it to them.  Answer their questions and give them no reason to "sneak a peak" when you are not looking.  Offer to show them again, any time they are interested. 
  • Prevent Peer Pressure.  Now that your child has seen your firearm during safe supervision, they might mention it to a friend.  Remove any chance of peer pressure dangers.  Explain to your child that if they are never to show your firearms to friends.  If a friend is interested, you would be happy to show them safely after you speak with their parents.
  • Locks.  Guns should be locked in proper cabinets or drawers.  Trigger locks are also available, often for free, from your local or state police.
  • Ammunition should also be locked away, preferably in a separate location from the firearm.
  • Ammunition Type is also an important home safety choice.  If your firearm is kept exclusively in the house for home defense, research your ammunition carefully.  There are special cartridges that have been created specifically for home defense.  Some are designed so that they can not accidentally pass through your target and through a wall injuring someone in another room.
This list is not meant to be all inclusive or complete.  But it is a start.  Remember not to take anything for granted and shed a light on proper safety at every opportunity for yourself and your children.

Blog Photo Courtesy of Etsy Artist: Ryan Weigner

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