Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Gun Safety and Children

Gun Safety and Children

Whether you allow guns in your home or not, did you know that guns are found in more than one-third of all U.S. households?  That fact alone can present a real danger to children and that’s why it’s important to talk to your kids about gun safety. If you do keep a gun in your home it’s important to keep it out of sight and out of the reach of young children and teens. All guns should be kept unloaded in a secured lock box with the ammunition stored separately.

Guns and Pretend Play

Allowing children to play with a toy gun or engage in games that involve role playing, such as pretend “shooting action,” is a personal decision. It’s important to remember that even if you don’t allow your kids to have a toy gun, their friends could have them. Take a few moments to explain to them that unlike toy guns or those shown on TV, in movies, or in video games, real guns can seriously injure or result in death.

Talking to Kids about Gun Safety

If a child does come in contact with a gun teach them to follow these rules from the National Rifle Association (NRA):

  • Stop
  • Don’t touch
  • Remove yourself from the area
  • Tell an adult

Stress how important it is for children to immediately leave the area where a gun is located to avoid being harmed whether it is at a neighbor’s house, school or another location. Make sure your child knows to tell an adult if they see or find a gun because children are naturally curious and even a toddler as young as three years old can have enough strength to pull a trigger.

If You Have a Gun in Your Home

Many children are raised with guns in the home, particularly if hunting is a part of family recreation. If you keep a gun in the home, it’s important to teach your children to act in a safe and responsible way.

To ensure the safest environment for your family:

  • Take the ammunition out of a gun.
  • Lock the gun and keep it out of reach of kids. (*Hiding the gun is not enough.)
  • Lock the ammunition and store it in a different area away from the gun.
  • Store the keys for the gun and the ammunition in a separate location from where you store your household keys. (*Keep the keys out of reach of children.)
  • Lock up gun-cleaning supplies, which are often poisonous.
  • When handling or cleaning a gun, adults should never leave the gun unattended.

The Southlake Police Department wants to help you and your family avoid an accident or worse a tragedy.  If you have any questions or need more information about gun safety please contact Sgt. Mike Bedrich at 817-748-8137.