What should you do if you see a gun?
Leave the room or place where the gun is!
Tell an adult about the gun right away!
Did you know?
- The guns you see on TV or in movies or on video games are not real.
- Some real guns look like toy guns.
- Real guns can hurt or kill people.
- If you touch a gun, you could hurt yourself or someone else by accident.
Kids will be kids!
- Are your children curious?
- If they know there is a present in the house for them, will they look for it?
- And are your children sometimes forgetful?
- Do you often have to remind them to brush their teeth?
If you’ve answered “yes” to any of these questions, we have some tips for you about gun safety. Yes — gun safety!
- A child as young as 3 years old can be strong enough to pull the trigger of a gun.
- Teen suicide is 10 times more likely to happen if there is a gun in the house?* If your child shows signs of depression and you have a gun in the home, find some place outside of your home to keep the gun.
If your child knows there is a gun in the house, he or she may be curious. Your child could also find it by mistake at your house or someone else’s house, or even at school. Talking about gun safety only 1 or 2 times with your child may not be enough. It’s important to talk about gun safety over and over again. You can’t be too safe with your child.
How often have you talked about gun safety with your child? You don’t need to own a gun to talk about gun safety.
Asking about firearms
Ask about firearms before your child goes to play at someone’s home, along with other things you discuss such as seat belt use, allergies, and animals.
- “I don’t mean any disrespect, but knowing how curious my child can be, I feel I have to ask this question... ‘Are firearms in your home safely stored?’"
- “I hope you don’t mind me asking if you have a firearm in your home and if it is properly stored...”
This can start the conversation.
Parents need to make sure a gun is safe. Safe storage, locking the gun and ammunition, and safe use all work together to make sure anyone who is around the gun is safe.
Here are some tips for gun storage and safety:
- Make sure the gun is in a place your child cannot get to. Just hiding it may not be enough.
- Keep your gun in a locked cabinet, gun vault or locked storage case.
- Use a gun lock in addition to putting it in a locked cabinet, vault or case. Some locks make the gun completely unusable until unlocked. Go to the Project Child Safe website or call your local police station to find out how to get a lock at no cost to you.
- Store the gun’s ammunition (bullets) in a different place than the gun. Ammunition also needs to be locked up.
- When taking your gun out, make sure it is not loaded…and then check it again. You can never be too certain.
- Never leave your gun unattended. If you take the gun out, never leave it laying somewhere. Always be with your gun when it is not locked.