Tuesday, Jul 18, 2017 | Tracy Hendrix

The Importance of Safe Gun Storage (and How to Do It)

One of the biggest parts of being a responsible gun owner is implementing safe storage practices. The vast majority of at-home gun accidents take place when a gun has not been properly secured. It doesn’t take fancy gadgets or expensive accessories to keep your family safe– all you need is a bit of common sense, and plenty of communication.

Put the firearm away when you aren’t using it

When you aren’t using it, your gun should always be kept in a locked safe or case. Don’t skip this step, even if the gun is stored unloaded. If there is ammo in the house, then the gun should be locked up. If you’re worried about having quick access to your gun in a self-defense situation, you can purchase a portable case with a lock on it and keep the gun in the case close at hand. Locking the guns up keeps children from accidentally finding them, but it also prevents an intruder from reaching your gun before you do and using it against you.

Think about where you store your ammunition

Some gun owners prefer to store their ammo in a separate place. Others like to have the gun and the bullets close together in case they need it. Both positions make good points, so it’s up to you to choose which approach makes the most sense for you. It’s a smart idea to keep bullets locked in a cabinet if possible. Kids can think that bullets are toys, and toddlers might even swallow them.

When you’re cleaning or handling your gun, always make sure that it is unloaded. Never playfully cock and fire the gun, even if you’re confident that there’s nothing in the chamber. Keep the gun pointed away from you, and engage the safety if your gun has one.

Teach children and young adults about gun safety as quickly as possible

If you have children, talk to them about respecting and minding your weapons. They must understand that guns are not toys. We don’t think you should avoid exposing your kids to guns altogether. If they were to find a gun, and if they hadn’t been taught how to safely handle it, the unthinkable could happen. Rather, you should be open with your kids, using age-appropriate language, and explain how they can be safe around a gun. They should understand that handling a gun is a serious responsibility.

When it comes to gun safety, a little goes a long way. Using common sense and teaching your family about how to safely handle a weapon can prevent accidents and ensure that your household doesn’t become a statistic.

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