Gun safety starts in the home.
Gun safety is something that applies to everyone. Whether you are a gun-free home, a hunter, part of law enforcement, a sport shooter or an average gun owner, everyone needs to know the basics of gun safety. This includes safe use and storage of firearms and what children should do if they see a gun.
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Gun Safety for Gun Owners & Users
Firearm safety is always a priority for anyone who owns a firearm, even if you do not regularly use or carry one. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Make sure all firearms and ammunition are stored in a safe place out of reach of children or visitors
- Make sure you always use the proper safety gear when using a firearm of any kind including proper ear and eye protection
- Remember you are solely responsible for any damage caused by a firearm you discharge including unintentional damage or injury
- Always treat a firearm like it's loaded, never point a firearm at anything you do not intend to destroy
- Keep the gun pointed in a safe direction always, even when it is unloaded
- Always keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot
- Always make sure firearms are unloaded and safe when transporting, packing or storing firearms that are not in use
- Never use alcohol or other impairing substances when using or carrying a firearm
Learn more about training in safety and proficiency in firearms.
For more information visit the Missouri Hunter Safety Course.
Gun Safety for Parents
Parents play a key role when it comes to both creating a safe environment for children and developing safe practices for their families.
In gun free homes, it is important to realize that your child may still come across a firearm outside of the home, so talk to your child about what to do it that situation. Stop, don't touch, run away and tell a grown up.
In homes where guns may be present or even used by youth at a responsible age, it is important to constantly reinforce safe use and storage of firearms.
- Make sure all firearms and ammunition are stored in a safe place out of reach of children or visitors. Children should not even know where firearms are stored so they cannot be accessed without consent and supervision of an adult
- Talk to your child about gun and gun safety. By removing the mystery surrounding guns, your child will be far less curious about guns and more likely to follow safety rules
For more information on talking to children about gun safety, check out Eddie Eagle.
Gun Safety for Children
It is important to start early when it comes to gun safety with children. The NRA's Eddie Eagle program is designed to teach children the basics of gun safety and what to do if they come across a firearm. The four basic rules for children are:
Stop - The first step is crucial. Stopping first allows your child the time he or she needs to remember the rest of the safety instructions.
Don't Touch - A firearm that is not touched or disturbed is unlikely to be fired and otherwise endanger your child or other people.
Run Away - This removes the temptation to touch the firearm as well as the danger that another person may negligently cause it to fire.
Tell a Grown Up - Children should seek a trustworthy adult, neighbor, relative or teacher, if a parent or guardian is not available.
For more information on this program, check out Eddie Eagle here.