On average, nearly 6,000 children are treated for gunshot wounds each year. Of this group, approximately 1,200 are from unintentional shootings. Some at the hands of careless adults, but most from children playing with guns. How can you prevent this type of tragedy?
Every firearm owner should have a plan to safely store their firearm. How you accomplish this is a personal decision. But heavy consideration should be placed on your the 4 goals of safe firearms storage, and how these apply in your home.
Goal #1 - Keep Guns Out Of The Hands Of Children
If you never have children in your home, then you don't have to give this one much consideration. But if there are ever kids that either live with you, or even visit your home once in a while, then you need to give this one a lot of thought. Many parents falsely assume that it is enough to simply store a firearm up high and out of reach. This is a bad idea! Kids are natural explorers. They find ways to reach things that you never thought would be possible. So even if you only have a child in your home once a year, you need to find a way to secure the firearm out of their hands.
Goal #2 - Keep Guns Out Of The Hands Of Untrained Adults
We all know at least one "adult" that we wouldn't trust alone in our home. They could probably find a way to hurt themselves by turning on a light switch. Either because they are extremely clumsy, or because they don't typically take common precautions with things. This is certainly not the type of person you would want to get a hold of your firearm. Be sure that your firearms are secured anytime you have an adult in your house that has not been fully trained in safe handling procedures.
Goal #3 - Make Theft Of Your Firearms Difficult
Why don't I say impossible? Because a determined criminal will always find a way to get a firearm. If criminals can hack into highly secured computer systems, then they can find a way to steal a firearm. But that doesn't mean we should just leave it out in the open for them to take. We need to it as difficult as possible, while still fulfilling Goal # 4.
Goal #4 - Keep The Firearm Ready For Your Needs
This goal is highly dependent on your particular situation. If you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you would never use your fun for self-defense, then you could keep it disassembled with a trigger lock on inside of a safe. But if you plan to use the firearm to defend yourself or your family, then you need to make sure that it is securely stored, while still accessible to you or other authorized users.
How you store the firearm is something that only you can decide. But it is imperative that you give careful consideration to the 4 goals of safe storage to help make the best possible decision for you and your family.
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