Whether seen on TV, heard on the radio, or read on the Internet, one can hardly avoid being inundated by the hot topic of gun control and safety these days. But regardless of which side of the fence one sits with respect to this debate, few can argue that if one owns a firearm, ensuring it remains safely out of the hands of those who shouldn’t have it is paramount. Here today, we discuss five simple ways to keep one’s firearms safe.
•EDUCATION Educating family members about gun safety can go a long way in avoiding a potentially deadly mishap. Hiding and simply “hoping” the children won’t find your firearms to avoid having a conversation about them leads to a false sense of security which can have deadly consequences. By nature, children are curious creatures and it goes without saying that if a child discovers something he or she knows they shouldn’t have, the curiosity factor increases exponentially. Sitting the family down and having an honest, open conversation about the dangers of mishandling firearms takes much of the mystery and even the temptation out of playing with an object so often minimized in movies, TV shows, and video games. In addition, discussing with your family what to do if someone outside the family discovers the firearm and is tempted to play with it is also of utmost importance.
•STORAGE Proper gun storage is another element to consider when purchasing a firearm and many options exist from gun boxes to gun safes. While many gun owners prefer having their firearms close at hand, it’s also important to remember that the gun safes should be kept in places that are relatively well hidden to prevent discovery by intruders. There is an old adage that states if someone wants something bad enough they’ll get it. And while this might hold some truth, there’s simply no sense in handing over your firearms without making the bad guy work for it.
•GUN LOCKS Securing a firearm with respect to restricting the action from engaging is really quite simple and there are many options available on the market to do just that. The two most common are trigger locks and cable locks. Trigger locks are mechanisms which prevent and/or cover the trigger to prevent it from being pulled and they usually require a code or a key to remove it from the firearm. Cable locks are steel cables which loop through the slide or cylinder to prevent the action from engaging. While gun locks are encouraged, simply locking a firearm will not prevent it from being stolen. Storing firearms in secure structures like gun boxes or gun safes in addition to securing them with a locking mechanism is ideal.
•KEEP IT UNLOADED While an unloaded firearm might seem like an oxymoron, it really is the only way to prevent injury or death should someone accidentally pull the trigger. That said, always consider that a firearm is loaded and never take another person’s word to the contrary. It’s also a good idea to store the ammunition and the firearm in separate locations.
•ALCOHOL AND DRUGS Though we’d hope this seems like common sense, alcohol and/or drugs should never be consumed when handling firearms. Not only do they impair judgment, but fine and gross motor skills are also affected when mind altering substances are consumed. If you find yourself around people combining alcohol and firearms, our best advice if you can’t convince them to refrain from this dangerous practice is to leave the area immediately.