Owning guns is a huge responsibility, especially if children are living in your home. Whether you own firearms for protection, hunting, or sport, it is crucial to the safety of those around you to keep the guns securely stowed when not in use and always handle them properly.
We often hear tragic stories of accidental gun shootings in the home because it was assumed a gun wasn't loaded or because kids had easy access to the weapons.
However, with diligent adherence to safe practices, you can safely keep guns in your home and enjoy the sport or personal security benefits they provide.
- Never bring a loaded gun into your home. The only time your gun should be loaded is when you are at your target destination. When you are finished with target practice or ending your hunting adventure for the day, remove unused ammo before placing the guns in your car and heading home.
- Always check to make sure a gun is unloaded before you handle it. You can't double-check too often, and assuming a gun is unloaded could be a fatal mistake.
Keep the action open after you check for ammo until the gun is ready to be placed in storage. Make a habit of checking your firearms before you hand off a weapon, accept a gun from someone else, transport the gun, or place it in its storage.
- Store guns in your home under lock and key. Don't rely on finding a safe hiding place that is not locked, especially if you have kids. Rifles and shotguns can be placed in locking racks.
Revolvers and pistols can be kept locked in a home safe. Sentry Safes are ideal for this as they will protect your guns from fires, floods, and theft, as well as keep them out of reach of children. Sentry safes are also suitable for storing ammo. However, many home safety experts recommend storing ammo and firearms in separate locations, so it takes a deliberate effort to assemble and use the weapons.
- Teach and practice gun safety. Never horseplay with guns and never point a gun at another person, even if you believe a gun is not loaded. While children shouldn't get their hands on firearms, it is still a good idea to teach them how to respect firearms to understand the dangers associated with them.
- Store guns in temperature and humidity-controlled areas. In addition to protecting your family, you also want to protect your weapons. This means keeping them properly maintained and storing them in an appropriate environment. Excess humidity and heat can cause wooden stocks to split and metal parts to rust.
- Learn how to use a gun properly. If you buy a gun for personal safety, you must learn how to use it the right way. Otherwise, it could be dangerous in an emergency. Take classes to know how the gun operates and understand how to use it to your best advantage in a home invasion situation.
If you want to use rifles for hunting, there are many things you should know first to stay safe. For example, you want to know how to hike with a loaded gun, climb fences, climb a tree, wade a stream, and any other activities you will encounter in the woods.
Gun ownership can bring you many benefits. You may love the sport of hunting your food or target shooting. Guns sometimes get bad press, but they can be safely kept in your home when they are handled responsibly. When it reaches to handling firearms, "safety first" should always be your guiding motto.