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Responsible gun ownership helps protect children

Staff Report • Sep 27, 2012 at 4:46 PM

Nearly 40 percent of households in the United States with children under 18 have at least one firearm in the house. Statistics also show 25 percent of those guns being stored either loaded or unlocked.

Children are naturally curious, and a loaded gun can present a dangerous temptation. There are, however, a number of things adults can do to keep guns out of the hands of children. Parents should start by talking to their children about not touching or playing with guns.

It’s important for children to know they should never handle a gun without proper adult supervision.

Gun owners always should keep their weapons locked in cabinets and/or use trigger locks. Many local law enforcement agencies have these trigger locks on hand, often free for the asking.

Parents should encourage their children to immediately inform adults if they see or hear of a gun, emphasizing the point that they would not be tattling, but preserving safety. Parents also should make sure parents in the homes their children visit are responsible with any guns they own.

Responsible gun ownership begins in the home with parents who teach their children one simple thing: Guns are not toys.

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