Important Conversations About Gun Safety & Storage
Cash My Guns is a proud member of the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) and a proud supporter of Project Childsafe. NSSF and the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) recently released a video series that presents examples of conversations that promote gun safety and gun storage best practices. The videos are posted on Project Childsafe’s site. Project Childsafe, a program of the NSSF, works to reduce fatal firearms accidents through educational materials and free firearm safety kits. We at Cash My Guns think that the Many Paths to Firearm Safety video series touches on some important points. In this article, we break down each video in the series and remind gunowners old and new of conversations each household should have regarding gun safety and gun storage.
Path 1 to Firearm Safety
The first firearm safety video depicts a character named Mateo who plans to marry his girlfriend Ana soon. Ana has a 6-year-old daughter.
Mateo is somewhat versed in firearm safety. While he lived alone, he stored a loaded handgun in an unlocked drawer of his dresser. Ana was aware of the gun, but the two rarely discussed it. Mateo keeps the gun for protection. Ana does not know how to handle a gun or firearm safety best practices.
As Mateo and Ana discussed moving in together, it became apparent that they did not have a plan in place to implement household firearm safety. Ana asked Mateo if he planned to store his gun in their new home in the same manner as he did while they lived apart. Mateo hadn’t considered that it might benefit the new household to step up safe storage of the gun. Ana also asked Mateo if he would expect her to learn how to handle the gun.
Once the engaged couple realized that a discussion and some decisions had to be made, they calmly discussed their options and what would best protect every member of the home.
Ana ultimately concluded that she was fine with a gun in the house, but that she wanted it to always be safely secured. The two discussed cable locks, lock boxes and gun safes. Mateo wanted quick access to his gun in the event of an emergency, but the couple agreed that the gun must be as secure as possible when not in use.
The couple decided to get a lockbox and keep it in a drawer. Ana wasn’t sure if she was ready to handle the gun herself. If she later wanted to handle the gun, she would get the proper training beforehand.
The couple agreed to have an explicit conversion with Ana’s daughter about never touching the gun.
Path 2 to Gun Safety
The second firearm safety video depicts a character named David. David begins by explaining that hunting is a longstanding tradition in his family. His dad explained firearm safety to him at a young age. Some of those safety tips included: always assume a gun is loaded and don’t touch a gun without adult permission. After hunting trips with his father, his father would clean the rifle and store it unloaded in a closest.
David then shares that he and his wife Sarah have three children with ages of 15, 11 and eight. He explained that although his father stored his hunting rifle unloaded in an unlocked closet, the times have changed. David said that he believes firearm safety always needs to be applied, not just when hunting or at the firing range. This is especially true of firearm safety in the home.
David and Sarah do not keep their firearms in an unlocked closet. Instead, they store them in a locked gun safe. David and Sarah only permit their eldest son, the 15-year-old, to handle the family’s rifle and only in certain circumstances.
David explained that he relays gun safety rules to each of his kids in different ways because they are different ages. David and Sarah made sure that all their kids were aware of what to do when they see an unsecured gun outside their home.
Path 3 to Safe Gun Storage
The third firearm safety video depicts a character named Whitney. She has lived in the area her whole life. She explained that the small community looks out for its members. Whitney lives in a ground-floor condo. Crime and break-ins have been increasing in her neighborhood in recent years.
One year ago, Whitney considered purchasing her first gun for self-protection, but she was a little apprehensive because she was unfamiliar with firearms. She went to a local gun shop to ask for advice. She explained her situation to the shop owner, and he gave her some great tips.
The shop owner explained that Whitney needed to learn about proper gun storage and gun safety. Although Whitney lives alone, friends and family regularly visit her and sometimes stay the night at her condo. Some of those visitors are children, namely her nieces and nephews.
Whitney learned that gun safety and storage not only applied to her person, but also her household. Whitney was aware that children and criminals can gain access to unsecured firearms, so she wanted to restrict access to her gun to only herself.
Whitney ultimately decided to purchase a gun, so she enrolled in a firearm safety course. The course taught her how to handle the firearm safely and how to store the firearm safely.
She opted for a cable lock and a lockbox to safely secure her gun in her nightstand. She was very pleased that she invested in learning about firearm safety, because she wasn’t originally aware of the responsibilities required when one owns a gun or guns.
Firearm Safety Questions Every Household Should Ask
Even when a household adheres to gun safety and gun storage best practices, there is room for disagreement. Many households have different reasons for owning firearms. People have different preferences about ease of access, preferred calibers and similar topics.
For example, a couple getting ready to move in together for the first time might not agree about the best way to store a gun in their home. Another couple might disagree about a gun being stored in the home at all. Whether or not to keep a household gun loaded while in storage is another topic that households need to consider.
Household communication about firearm safety and storage might be a burden, but it’s one that responsible gunowners must bear. Most of us don’t enjoy having difficult and uncomfortable conversations, but it can be dangerous to leave the questions below unanswered.
• How many people live in the home?
• Are the adults living in the home trained to handle firearms?
• If some adults in the home know firearm safety and others do not, is there an agreement in place regarding who can handle the firearms and when?
• Do all the adults living in the home know how many guns are in the home and where they are stored?
• If there are children living in the home or that visit the home, are they aware of the household rules regarding firearms?
• Are the firearms in the home safely secured?
• Are there any loaded firearms in the home?
• If the firearms are stored via lock and key, who has access to the key?
• If the firearms are stored via combination lock, who has access to the combination?
• Can visitors to the home, criminals or those struggling with mental health issues access the home’s firearms? Are there any easy work arounds to gaining access?
• Is the access key to the firearms, whether it’s a physical key, combination number, or other key-type, available to anyone not responsible for the firearms?
• In the event of an emergency, do the adults in the home know how to quickly access the firearm/s in the home?
• Does the entire household understand the firearm safety rules that govern the home?
• Have the parents of the household explained to their children what to do when the children see an unsecured firearm outside the family home?
At Cash My Guns, Safety Is Priority 1
Cash My Guns is a Federal Firearms License holder (FFL). As such, we prioritize safe gun handling and proper gun storage. We also like to share our knowledge of state and federal laws regarding gun purchasing and gun ownership.
The responsibilities that come with owning a gun are rigorous and those that don’t adhere to best practices endanger themselves and others.
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National Shooting Sports Foundation and a
proud supporter of Project Childsafe.