I think this was asked before and given that we’re talking about the ownership of guns lately its important to look into it.
The best thing to do is of course keep your guns secured in a safe.
A small one to keep a handgun in doesn’t cost much, there’s some with electronic locks that cost around 100 USD. Kept in the closet you’ll have your gun within easy reach and safe from kids and unauthorized users.
A women once mentioned me the problem she had regarding owning guns and a suicidal family member living with them at the time.
Tough call, but if your gun stays with you at all times like you should do when carrying concealed (perfect excuse to get your carry permit and pack at all times!), and stays in the safe while you sleep, I’d say its pretty safe. I doubt a suicidal person would try to put a grinder to the safe while you sleep a few feet away.
When it comes to kids, you have to see for yourself and make your own call regarding when you feel they are responsible enough to handle firearms under the close supervision of an adult of course.
Explain to your children that whenever they want to see or handle a gun, all they have to do is ask you. Make sure you make the time to keep your word. They’ll ask you a few times, after handling the empty gun they’ll eventually lose interest but if you don’t do this, they’ll make it a personal mission to get hold of such gun on their own.
That’s a kid spending his entire spare time and imagination planning on how to get to a firearm, you sure don’t want that.
There’s no such thing as a perfect plan so you always have to have a plan B. Plans B are pretty much the essence of preparedness. So, what happens when you leave a gun within reach of a child by accident?
Don’t say it will never, happen, it will.
Even if your Mr. Perfect, what happens when your kid is playing at the neighbor’s and the guy commits a mistake himself or happens to be one of the many irresponsible gun owners?
What I did was this, and I believe it’s the best solution:
1)Want to see a gun? Dad will show it to you every time you ask.
2) What if you FIND a gun lying around or a FRIEND brings a gun or finds one?
In both cases, you DON’T TOUCH IT, leave the room and find an adult to explain what you found. If you’re home that would be the parents. If its someone else that found it, a friend for example, find the nearest responsible adult. Tell your friend not to touch it, LEAVE the room or the house if you have to but don’t EVER stay in a place where friends are playing or fooling around with a gun.
After talking about this several times I put it to test. I purposefully left a gun on a table and waited near by, keeping an eye on it (do I need to remind you the importance of such gun being empty? better yet, remove the barrel just to make sure).
When my son found it he did as I was told, he didn’t touch it, came looking for me and told me what he had found.
Its important to repeat these rules to your children, then test it again a few weeks and a few months later on.
I found out that children can learn this at a very early age, as soon as they can follow basic instructions.
Just like everything else in life, its work and training. Train your kids not to touch guns without the supervision of parents and to go looking for an adult if they ever find one on their own and that’s exactly what they’ll do. Do nothing and if such an incident ever occurs it’s a potential tragedy.