It’s a sad fact of life that too many children die in the US every year after playing around with their parents’ guns. Whilst tragedies such as this can never be completely avoided in a nation that values its right to own firearms, there is a simple and effective solution to limiting the possibility of it happening – locking up your guns.
In Florida, over recent months, there has been an unfortunate spike in the number of children shot whilst playing with weapons. The accidental deaths have deeply affected the state, and have led some gun stores to give out free locks to their customers.
Even the most responsible gun owner will admit, of only to themselves, that there have been times when they have forgotten to keep their guns in the safest manner possible. Whilst we at GND know that accidents and mistakes can always happen, we also recommend that you always lock up your firearms.
Doing so not only protects your valuable firearms from thieves, it can also avoid the tragic consequences of your children finding and playing with your weapons. Any parent will tell you that it is impossible to watch your kids all the time, and that they are very enterprising at finding new and exciting toys to play with, so if you are a new parent play it safe, and lock up your weapons.
The problem can be especially acute for parents who are separated, and don’t see their kids that often. If you are in this situation, and your kids only come to your house perhaps once a month, it is really worthwhile taking a moment to think about whether your place is safe for your kids.
Whilst the way in which you lock up your guns might keep adults safe, the same is not necessarily true for your kids. There are several precautions a parent can take: keeping your guns in a secure safe, keeping the safe hidden, keeping a close eye on your children by tracking cell phones, and even using smart home security systems to see where your kids are at all times… all of these are important ways to kid-proof a home with firearms.
You have a few options when it comes to locking up your guns. Perhaps the easiest and safest is to invest in a good gun safe. Nowadays, small safes retail for as little as $30, and even small safes can hold a surprisingly large number of weapons. In our opinion, even if you only use one handgun, there really is no excuse for not keeping it locked up as much as possible.
If even a small safe is beyond your budget, or does not suit the way in which you use your firearms, individual gun locks can be a good option. These device can make a gun impossible to use even outside a safe, and can be bought for as little as $7.
At the risk of repeating ourselves, in our opinion locking up your weapons when not in use is one of the primary tasks of any responsible gun owner. If you own guns, you should know where they are at all times, and keep them locked up as much as possible.
Doing so protects not only your treasured guns, but also your family. For more information about gun safety please refer to our safe reviews. For personal protection we recommend our shooting glasses review and our extremely detailed ear protection article.
This post was updated on June 17, 2019, with the new statistic and graphic about kids lost to gunfire.