Why is firearm safety important?
Firearms are the most potentially lethal pieces of equipment that are kept in the private home. About 2 percent of all accidental deaths in the United States are caused by gunshot wounds. They are second to car accidents as a cause of fatal injury. The majority of accidental deaths are caused by involving firearms are caused by human, not mechanical, failure. Therefore, it is important that all families that possess firearms take rigorous safety precautions.
What can I do to protect my family from gun injury?
- Children should never be allowed to handle a gun, even in play.
- Guns that are allowed to become dirty are unreliable and extremely dangerous, so all guns should be cleaned. Simple and inexpensive gun-cleaning kits can be bought from any gun shop, but it is possible to clean the barrel with normal mineral oil and a soft rag secured firmly to the end of a straight stick. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for cleaning.
- If you drop the gun at any time, inspect all the parts and clean them thoroughly before using the gun again. This is especially important when outdoors, as a small object or a piece of dirt in the barrel can cause the gun to explode when fired.
- Lock all firearms in a cabinet or rack. Deactivate the gun by removing the firing pin.
- Never leave a gun on open display, where it will be a temptation to children and intruders.
- Store the ammunition separately
Finally, always assume that a gun is loaded until you have checked that it is
not. Gun safety in your home is as important as using car seats and seat belts in your car.
For more information, contact:
Adolescent Violence Prevention Resource Center
National Child Safety Council