GUNS AND CHILDREN
It’s estimated 100 boys and girls age 14 and under die each year due to accidental shootings. Researchers found that 70% of the deaths could have been prevented by simply having a safe and using it when you’re not carrying your firearm. NRA News Commentator and Former Navy SEAL says it best, “If you have kids and have money to buy a gun but no money to buy the safe it belongs in you may want to rethink your purchase. “ As responsible gun owners, we need to make sure we are securing our firearms when we are not around. Also, it is never too early to start talking to and training our little ones about gun safety.
GUN OWNERS RESPONSIBILITIES - New Laws for 2015
Summary of Safe Storage Laws Regarding Children
"You may be guilty of a misdemeanor or a felony if you keep a loaded firearm within any premises that are under your custody or control and a child under 18 years of age obtains and uses it, resulting in injury or death, or carries it to a public place, unless you stored the firearm in a locked container or locked the firearm with a locking device to temporarily keep it from functioning."
You Cannot Be Too Careful with Children and Guns
There is no such thing as being too careful with children and guns. Never assume that simply because a toddler may lack finger strength, they can’t pull the trigger. A child’s thumb has twice the strength of the other fingers. When a toddler’s thumb “pushes” against a trigger, invariably the barrel of the gun is pointing directly at the child’s face. NEVER leave a firearm lying around the house.
Child safety precautions still apply even if you have no children or if your children have grown to adulthood and left home. A nephew, niece, neighbor’s child or a grandchild may come to visit. Practice gun safety at all times.
To prevent injury or death caused by improper storage of guns in a home where children are likely to be present, you should store all guns unloaded, lock them with a firearms safety device and store them in a locked container. Ammunition should be stored in a location separate from the gun.
Talking to Children About Guns
Start with the NRA Eddie Eagle Program
The Eddie Eagle GunSafe® Program teaches children in pre-K through third grade four important steps to take if they find a gun. These steps are presented by the program’s mascot, Eddie Eagle, in an easy-to-remember format consisting of the following simple rules:
Leave the area
Tell an adult
Children are naturally curious about things they don’t know about or think are “forbidden.” When a child asks questions or begins to act out “gun play,” you may want to address his or her curiosity by answering the questions as honestly and openly as possible. This will remove the mystery and reduce the natural curiosity. Also, it is important to remember to talk to children in a manner they can relate to and understand. This is very important, especially when teaching children about the difference between “real” and “make-believe.” Let children know that, even though they may look the same, real guns are very different than toy guns. A real gun will hurt or kill someone who is shot.
For More information, posters, coloring books and videos see: http://eddieeagle.nra.org/
Instill a Mind Set of Safety and Responsibility
The American Academy of Pediatrics reports that adolescence is a highly vulnerable stage in life for teenagers struggling to develop traits of identity, independence and autonomy. Children, of course, are both naturally curious and innocently unaware of many dangers around them. Thus, adolescents as well as children may not be sufficiently safeguarded by cautionary words, however frequent. Contrary actions can completely undermine good advice. A “Do as I say and not as I do” approach to gun safety is both irresponsible and dangerous.
Remember that actions speak louder than words. Children learn most by observing the adults around them. By practicing safe conduct you will also be teaching safe conduct. BE SAFE!