Whether or not you own a gun, a recent study from the University of Washington will likely get you thinking about gun safety. It found that among the 34% of Washingtonians who have a gun in their households, little more than one-third reported storing them unloaded and locked away.
That could have tragic consequences for kids out of school for the summer – perhaps bored and with unsupervised time to explore at home and at friends' homes.
- Store unloaded guns and bullets separately
- Lock up guns in a gun safe
- Use trigger locks
- Consider storing guns elsewhere (like at the shooting range).
For kids who encounter a gun
Keep instructions simple to follow. Tell them if they see a gun:
- Don't touch (without a parent's or instructor's permission)
- Get away (assume every gun is loaded)
- Tell an adult.
GUN-SMART PARENTING TIP
Want your children to learn how to safely handle a gun?
Hire a professional! Just as kids tend to listen and learn better with training from a certified driving instructor, they'll likely develop firearms competence more efficiently with help from a certified gun safety instructor.
Your local resources like police or Fish & Wildlife Department can help you find a class or safety events.
To keep your kids safe, experts recommend a combination of child-proofing your gun and gun-proofing your child.