These Gun Safety Tips Might Save Your Child’s Life
Do you have an unlocked gun in your home? Do you have children? If you answered yes to both of those questions, it’s time to face a few facts.
- Around 77% of accidental gun deaths happen in the home.
- Shelter-in-place orders during the coronavirus pandemic have led to major spikes in accidental shootings at home by children. Deadly unintentional shootings were up 43% in March & April compared to the same months in the previous 2 years.
- Accidental gun deaths occur mainly to those under 25 years old. In 2014, 2,549 children (age 0-19) died by gunshot and an additional 13,576 were injured.
- Adolescents are particularly susceptible to accidental shootings due to specific behavioral characteristics associated with adolescence, such as impulsivity, feelings of invincibility, and curiosity about firearms.
A statistically significant association exists between gun availability and the rates of unintentional firearm deaths, homicides, and suicides.
- In the United States, over 4.6 million American children live in homes with at least one unloaded, unlocked gun.
- Around 31 percent of accidental deaths caused by firearms might be prevented with child-proof safety locks and loaded chamber indicators.
What can you do to lower the number of gun accidents in your home?
For families who decide to keep guns in the home, many studies show that teaching kids about gun safety, or to not touch a firearm if they find one, just isn’t enough. There are a few simple safety steps you can do to reduce the chances of your children being injured.
- All guns in your home should be locked and unloaded, with ammunition locked separately. Make sure children and teens can't access the keys or combinations to lock boxes or gun safes. Thanks to modern innovation, there are many safe and secure ways to store your firearms and ammunition.
- Consider investing in something like Timber Vaults gun safe shelf which provide peace of mind – and accessibility should you need to get to your weapon quickly.
- Biometric gun safes use fingerprints, a uniquely identifying feature of an individual, to lock and protect firearms and ammunition. They provide the highest level of protection, prevent unauthorized entry, and are designed to enable only those with stored fingerprints in its database to gain access. One downside: these need electricity and back-up batteries in place to work properly.
- Multi-gun safes might be another option. They take up a lot of space in a room, but can provide extra security if there are multiple weapons in the home.
- Do not keep loaded, unlocked guns in your vehicle. Gun thefts from cars and trucks are on the rise around the country. This is an important step to protect your family and your community.
- Ask about guns in other homes where your children play. More than a third of all unintentional shootings take place in homes of their friends, neighbors or relatives.
- Talk to your children about what to do if they ever come across a gun. Make sure they understand that a gun is not a toy and to tell you or another adult they trust about what they found.
We hope these tips will help you provide a safer environment for your children and your community.