It is estimated that nationally about one third of households with children ages 17 and under have a gun in the home. Parents need to take extra precautions when children are in an environment where guns are present.
Store Guns and Ammunition Safely
- Store guns in a locked location, unloaded, out of the reach and sight of children.
- Store ammunition in a separate locked location, out of the reach and sight of children.
- Keep the keys and combinations hidden.
- When a gun is not in its lock box, keep it in your line of sight.
- Make sure all guns are equipped with effective, child-resistant gun locks.
- If a visitor has a gun in a backpack, briefcase, handbag or an unlocked car, provide them with a locked place to hold it while they are in your home.
- Leaving guns on a nightstand, table or other place where a child can gain access may lead to injuries and fatalities.
Talk to Your Kids and Their Caregivers
- Explain how a gun your kids might see on television or a video game is different from a gun in real life.
- Teach kids never to touch a gun and to immediately tell an adult if they see one.
- Talk to grandparents and the parents of friends your children visit about safe gun storage practices.
Dispose of Guns You Don’t Need
- If you decide that you no longer need to have a gun in your home, dispose of it in a safe way. Consult with law enforcement in your community on how to do so.