Gun safety is imperative for everyone, especially if your home has firearms.
Talking to your kids about gun safety can often be a difficult topic to navigate, but parents and caregivers play a critical role in kids’ association with guns and their overall behavior and safety, and ultimately, this responsibility lies with you.
Firearm safety shouldn’t be an isolated event — one speech from an officer or teacher at school isn’t enough. Kids learn and understand things better through repetition, and this is no different with gun safety.
At Liberty Firearms Institute, it is important for every person in your family — including your kids — to have a clear and straightforward message surrounding gun safety. We’ve gathered our best resources and compiled information to help you foster a dialogue around gun safety with your kids to help keep them safe and informed. You don’t want to miss today’s post!
Teaching Gun Safety To Kids
When it comes to gun safety, the National Rifle Association (NRA) keeps the message behind guns very clear and forthright to kids and teaches the following:
The first thing to teach your child if they come across a gun in the home or elsewhere is to stop. This then gives them time to not only remember the following gun safety instructions, but it creates time between the event and their reaction.
Explain to your child that you should never touch a firearm if one is encountered. Make it clear that when a firearm is disturbed there is more of a chance of it going off and causing injury than when it’s left alone.
When you encourage your child to leave the situation, it removes any temptation of them wanting to touch or pick up the gun. Leaving the room is the best practice in gun safety!
Tell A Trusted Adult
It is important that you stress to your child to always seek out an adult if they come across a firearm and emphasize that they won’t get in trouble — this is key.
If a child sees a gun, remind them to tell a neighbor, teacher, or a trusted adult if you’re not there.
Making this a part of an ongoing dialogue about gun safety is important — the more they hear it, the better chances they’ll remember it if the situation arises. Not only can you discuss these four gun safety principles, but print them out and hang them in high-traffic areas in your home.
Federal statistics report that there are legal guns in roughly 40% of US homes, so even if you are not a gun owner, there is a good chance that your neighbor or your child’s best friend’s parents are.
The more you can openly talk about these situations the better — it’s important not to completely avoid the situation and pretend that guns don’t exist. They do, and they are just like any other danger to your child. After all, you wouldn’t tell them that kidnappers and pedophiles don’t exist, you have an age-appropriate conversation and talk about safety and prevention tips should anything ever happen.
We can’t shelter and keep vital information from our kids.
A Responsible Gun Owner And A Responsible Parent
If you own guns, take greater precautions to safely secure them and keep them away from curious kids.
Create a space just for your guns — a gun safe located in a basement closet in or far away from curious kids is ideal, after all, out of sight, out of mind.
It’s also important that you store ammunition in high or hidden places that your kids don’t know about.
Remove The Mystery
Having open conversations around guns helps remove the mystery and makes them more normalized. While “normalized” seems scary, it’s not. It’s creating awareness and arming kids with the knowledge of gun safety.
On the other hand, if you’re not talking to your kids about guns, they more enticing and the more curious and focused their minds will become surrounding the subject matter.
Teach The Difference
As adults, we understand the difference between a toy gun and a real gun and violence seen on TV or in video games, so help relay this information to your child. Convey the difference between reality and pretend play.
Gun safety begins at home with the parent or guardian, whether or not you own guns. It’s important to not only start the conversation, but implement practical ways for them to stay safe should they ever come across a gun.