KIDS AND FIREARMS SAFETY
Do you have firearms in your home? Your vehicle? How about that concealed carry handgun in your purse? What about firearms at your child’s friend’s house? Bottom line, it is your responsibility to keep those firearms out of the hands of those not authorized, especially children! It is, I believe, also a responsibility to have a discussion with your child about firearm safety. They need to understand what to do if they find a gun when not in your presence, such as at a friend’s house.
This past week a five year old accidentally shot and killed herself with a handgun found in her home. This tragic story occurs too often and one time is too much.
Even though most of you reading this have an understanding of gun safety and responsibility, the topic can never be overemphasized. When I provide firearms training, no matter the audience or experience level, one of the first things covered are the firearms safety rules. I expect them to be adhered to, both on and off the range! When it comes to the safety of children, there can be no exceptions.
Not sure how to talk to kids about firearms, or what educational programs are available? Let’s take a look at a few of these options.
Hunter Education Programs:
These state-run programs are an excellent way to get the gun safety message across to kids, and most allow for parents or guardians to take the course along with the child. Even if you or the child are not hunters, the overlying theme of these programs is firearms safety. Check with your local State Game & Fish agencies or the County Extension Office. 4-H and Scouting also have shooting programs and gun safety training in many states.
National Shooting Sports Foundation:
This national organization is dedicated to “Promotion, Protection and Preserving” the shooting sports. They have an excellent program, “Project Child Safe” that is dedicated to children and firearms safety. http://www.nssf.org/ http://www.projectchildsafe.org/safety/find-a-safety-kit
National Rifle Association:
The organization has been around for decades and is committed to the preservation of gun rights and firearms safety. The resources available to the public for gun safety programs are too many to mention here. However, a good place to start is the “Eddie Eagle Gunsafe Program” https://eddieeagle.nra.org/
Another great organization that has lots of educational opportunities when it comes to gun safety and offers shooting programs with the unique twist of American Heritage all rolled into one program. http://appleseedinfo.org/
These are but a few of the programs available to you and your children. I mention these only because I have had hands on experience with them throughout my career.
Please take gun safety seriously, for your sake and for those whom you are responsible.