(ModernSurvival.org) – The most important aspect of being a gun owner is safety. This is a fact that gets driven home over and over again, because it is absolutely vital. Safety is always the number one priority when handling a gun.
For gun owners who have children in the home, however, firearm safety becomes even more important. The easiest way to ensure children remain safe with guns in the house is to teach them gun safety. Here are a few tips on how to go about this.
Take Away the Mystery
Many children, especially young boys, are fascinated with guns. Keeping firearms forbidden and off-limits will only increase their curiosity. Telling a child to “stay out of the closet, that’s where the guns are” is comparable to telling them to “stay out of the closet, that’s where their Christmas presents are.” They will become interested and explore.
Rather than making firearms a big, forbidden secret, let them handle the guns and use it as an opportunity to teach them proper gun handling and safety. This is the perfect time to show them the basics of gun safety, such as:
- How to make sure the gun is unloaded and the chamber is empty. Obviously, the adult needs to ensure the firearm is empty before the child handles it, but it is important that they know how to check themselves as well.
- How to safely hand over a firearm from one person to another.
- How to safely point the gun away from people and objects. Teach them that whatever is in front of the barrel is in danger, and that is why it is always pointed in a safe direction.
- To never touch the trigger until the gun is going to be fired.
- Teach them to treat a gun as if it is always loaded, even after they have confirmed it isn’t.
Show Them it Isn’t a Toy
A visit to the range is one way to teach children that guns are not toys. Show them targets that have been torn to shreds after being shot. They need to see the difference between what a real gun and a toy gun is. For older children, showing them the bullet holes in an animal following a hunting trip is another way to drive home why guns need to be treated with the utmost respect.
Set an Example
The goal is to teach the child life-long safety habits with firearms. While talking to them helps, nothing speaks as loudly as actions. Always treat the gun with the same level of caution and respect expected from them. Children look to those they love and respect and mimic the actions and behaviors they observe. Set a good example, and it will reinforce what they’re taught.
Taking the time to teach a child to treat a firearm with the respect it deserves will keep them safe not only at home, but any time they are in the presence of guns.
Even when children have been taught gun safety, it’s a good idea to keep guns locked up where they are inaccessible. To learn which gun storage options are the best to keep children out, take a look at our article on how to store guns safely.
~Here’s to Your Survival!
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