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Gun Safety

From the Office of Sheriff R.A. Strickland, Colleton County Sheriff’s Office

Gun safety is a serious matter that all gun owners must adhere to. The next generation needs to know these rules, and it’s up to us to show them the safe and correct ways to handle firearms. Did you know that roughly a third of U.S. homes with children have guns? In fact, nearly 2 million children live with unlocked, loaded guns. Children and teens are at the greatest risk of unintentional deaths, injuries, and suicides from firearms. Young children are naturally curious. They explore in drawers, cabinets, and closets. Some older children and teens are attracted to firearms because they’re romanticized via television and social media. Parents may not realize what a serious injury risk a gun in the home is, especially for children. Almost all firearm accidents in the home can be prevented when gun owners take simple precautions, and proper storage is the number one way to help prevent accidents. Anyone who owns a firearm should respect it and secure it when not in use. This helps prevents firearm accidents and misuse.

Should I talk to my child about firearms?
Yes! It’s better to talk about it before your child or teen comes across a firearm at home or somewhere else.
• Talk with your child about the risk of firearm injury in places they may visit or play.
• Explain that real firearms can kill or seriously injure people, unlike toy firearms or firearms shown on TV, in movies or in video games.
• Teach your child that if they find a firearm they should leave it alone, leave the room and tell an adult right away. While this training seems to work for some children, it doesn’t work for others. The only guarantee of safety is to lock up firearms.
• Teach your child to tell an adult right away if they see a firearm in someone’s backpack at school or if they hear someone is going to bring a firearm to school.
• Talk to your child about firearms and violence. Let them know that strong feelings like fear and anger can be expressed without using weapons.

How do I store a firearm safely?
Store firearms in a safe or lockbox with the ammunition stored separately to protect everyone in the home. This is called “triple safe” storage. Safe firearm storage also prevents theft of firearms.
• Store firearms unloaded and locked.
• Store and lock ammunition in a separate place.
• Use a firearm safe, lockbox, trigger or cable lock to store firearms.
• Avoid locking devices that use keys if possible. Children often know where keys are kept.
• Teach your child proper firearm safety measures.

Special to The Colletonian (3325 Posts)