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Gun Safety and Children: With a Right, Comes a Responsibility

Some people decide to purchase a firearm for sport, either hunting or target practice, while others choose to keep a gun for personal protection at their home or business.

In either instance, the paramount consideration before purchasing the gun is ensuring that you have a safe place to store it. Not under the bed. Not at the back of the closet. Not in a drawer. And not in a chintzy lock box that could be opened with a screwdriver, a hammer, and some determination.

Guns must be kept in a gun safe. Whether or not this is mandated in your jurisdiction, it is the responsibility of every gun owner to ensure the gun does not fall into the wrong hands.

Whether or not you have children, you must take this precaution. Having your gun stolen during a robbery is a significant worry, but having the firearm fall into the hands of a curious child is the ultimate nightmare. It is imperative to do everything you can to prevent a tragedy.

Of course, you should never, ever store your gun loaded, and the ammunition should be kept secure in a separate place. Remember, safety is the primary responsibility of every gun owner.

How to Store Your Firearm Safely

Gun safety is the primary responsibility of each gun owner. The safest way to store a firearm is to disassemble it and store the parts in separate, secure locations. Ammunition should be stored in a third secured area.

This may require the firearm owner to invest in at least one gun safe, if not two, plus a lock box for ammunition, powder, and primers. Under no circumstances should you store combustible ammunition or its components in the same place as the firearms themselves.

Again, never store the gun loaded, even if it is for personal protection at your home or business. You can purchase a quick access pistol safe will is compact and secure if this is your objective in owning a firearm. The Gunvault SpeedVault SV500 addresses this need quite well. Or, for a quick access rifle safe that also reads your fingerprints, you can look at the BARSKA Quick Access Biometric Rifle Safe.

You will want to decide which gun safe best suits your needs. This may be an investment you make for the next 10, 20 or even 50 years. The guns and safe will likely outlive you.

Decide how many guns and what kind you will acquire in the future and choose a gun safe that will suit those needs. Will you need a long gun safe? Will you be storing other valuables and important documents in it? How large a safe can you accommodate? Does it need to be fireproof? Only you can decide what you need.

Safety Measures for Preventing an Accident

In 2010 in the U.S., there were 617 so-called “justifiable gun homicides,” or instances of “legal intervention” resulting in a death by firearm (according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation). That same year, there were 606 unintentional or accidental gun deaths (via the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in the “Injury Mortality Reports” by the Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System).

At the risk of generalizing from these statistics, it seems safe to say that a firearm owned for personal protection may be as likely to stop a thief or aggressor from causing harm as it is to unintentionally inflict harm on some undeserving unfortunate.

Whether it be from a gun cleaning accident, or a tragedy where a gun owner is showing off the firearm to someone in an unsafe manner resulting in accidental discharge (like former NBA player Jayson Williams who accidentally shot and killed his limo driver while demonstrating his shotgun), every gun owner must go to great pains to keep the firearm safely secured at all times.

This is especially true if children are present anywhere in the vicinity of where guns are kept. Even if the children do no live in the house, consider instances where children of relatives or neighbors may be in the residents. This is equally true of firearms stored at a business, if not more so from a liability standpoint.

Bear in mind that certain gun safes make come with a set of backup keys to override a digital keypad code entry in case of battery failure. These keys must be kept and stored almost as securely as the firearm itself. Children are naturally curious, and even a few minutes left unsupervised can result in a catastrophe if you fail to take the proper measures in gun safety.

Any industry standard gun safe will meet your needs for securely storing a firearm and keeping it out of the hands of children. You must also talk to your kids if you are a parent and explain to them how incredibly dangerous guns are. Think of it like bleach in your kitchen cabinet. Tell them to stay away and keep it locked up.

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