Children First

I sit here today contemplating my first entry to The Legal Tidbit Blog.  Do I discuss a law?  What hot topic in the political ring would be good?  There is so much information and discussion in the wind that I just reached out and snatched the last entry someone posed in question to me on Facebook.  “What do I do to protect my child from guns?”.  It is not a delightful or easily answered topic by any means, but it is a valuable discussion that should be had with everyone, whether you have children or not.

We see in the news daily that another child has had their life snuffed out because someone had inappropriate access to a firearm, the latest a 3 year old in Gaston, SC.  That is far too close to home and is felt personally by anyone within range of the story.  It is tragic and completely avoidable.  I am not completely informed on how this baby gained access to this gun or the circumstances around his death, but  I do know that a 3 year old should never be able to put their hands on a firearm.

We keep guns in our home for protection and they should remain within reach and be accessible or it is pointless.  We also have to keep little hands off, so how do you do both?  There are procedures, lessons, steps, devices, routines and habits that should be put in place in every home.  Whether you have children, visitors or have youth that can visit someone else that may have a gun, teach your children and know where they are going.

The first step is to make sure you are properly securing the guns you are not utilizing.  Gun safes allow you to lock your firearms away from anyone you do not wish to give access.  This also allows you to protect your guns and valuables from theft and fire.  Use the safes and follow the “Safe” safe rules with guns and ammo.

There are small safes that can be used for the gun that is being utilized for protection.  They are also good for the single gun owner that does not have use or the budget for a large floor safe.  Hornady makes safes in several sizes and security levels for any budget.  If you can afford the gun you can afford the safe, period.  They are easily locking children out while giving you remote, key fob, key, bracelet or code access.  These are great for the bedroom and nightstands.  You can wear a wrist band that allows you to lay your wrist over the detector and it swiftly opens and releases the firearm for your personal use.  This allows you to keep your gun loaded and ready but out of the wrong hands.  This is mountable and available online and at local gun stores.

If you have a gun that needs to be put in a small place, out of use, or stored, use your gun lock.  They come with all firearms now and your local police departments will provide you with one free if you do not have one.  It prevents the gun from being loaded, blocks slide or cylinder action and it becomes unable to fire if handled.

I have guns throughout my home.  When I get visitors I remove the guns that a person can access.  If there is a child that will be present all guns are locked away and no one can have access to any of them outside of the one I carry continuously as my EDC.  Children of all ages are curious and will detour from bathroom visits.  When they explore, they get crafty.  I do not unarm with company in the home.  My personal carry stays on my person and is not accessible to anyone in my presence.

If you carry in your purse, lock it up when you have visitors or you are in a place where it can be accessed by others.  If this means putting it on you, locking it in a car or putting in a safe, do it.  Do not leave your firearm in buggies, open on your shoulder, car floors and seats or anywhere a child can reach in.

When your firearm is in your car, keep them away from children.  If that means locking the glove box, removing from under seats or out of seat pockets, do it.  Children reach into open and closed areas of cars easily and swiftly.  We often like to slide a handgun into the back pouch behind our seats for backseat placement.  You are not the only one that can reach in there.  Even a child in a car seat can lean forward or reach into those areas and harm you, themselves or someone else easily.

These are the first steps to securing your firearms.  This does not even touch on the topic of teaching children what to do when they see a gun in their house or somewhere else.  We will have to delve into that topic very soon.  Please remember, what is normal and routine for you, is not for everyone, especially children.  You need to know that not all families teach their children what you will.  Protect and secure – for your children and theirs.