Gun Safety – Know the Facts!
1. Having a gun in your home triples the risk of a homicide occurring at your home.
2. A gun in your home is 43 times more likely to kill someone you know than someone in self-defense.
3. Having a gun in your home increases the risk of a suicide occurring at your home by five-fold.
4. Approximately 1/3 of gun-owners report keeping a gun loaded and ready for use.
5. The safest way to avoid a gun-related injury/death in your home is to not have a gun at your home.
1. Homicide and suicide have become the second and third leading causes of death in teenagers. Gun injury is the most common mechanism in these deaths.
2. Teenagers are now more likely to die of gunshot wounds than all natural causes combined.
3. Teenage violent injury and death result from altercations between family members and acquaintances far more often than from robberies or other criminal activity.
WHAT TO DO: If you keep a gun at home, consider gun safety like any other preventative safety issue, such as buckling your seatbelt or wearing a bike helmet or wearing blaze orange while hunting.
1. ALWAYS keep your gun unloaded and locked up.
2. Lock and store bullets in a separate location from the gun.
3. Keep the keys to these locks hidden and inaccessible to children.
4. Gun locks can add an additional level of protection and are available for FREE at your local police station.
Regardless of if you own a gun or not, there are steps everyone can take to encourage gun safety, especially for our children.
1. Discuss the risks of gun injury with your children.
2. Tell your children to avoid guns in the homes of friends or relatives; and to never look at or touch a gun.
3. Check with the adults at the homes your child visits to determine if guns are present and how they are kept.
4. If guns are present in a home your child frequents and are not stored safely, encourage the household adults to empty out and safely store the guns. Reconsider having your child visit until this is done.
5. Explain to young children that gun violence on TV/video games/movies is not real and that in real life children are hurt and killed by guns. Reinforce this information and gun safety rules with them regularly.
Gun control is a topic guaranteed to invoke passionate opinions. Regardless of which side of this issue you stand, gun-ownership in our country is legal and guns are commonly found in American homes. Surely, keeping ourselves and our loved ones safe from gun-related injuries is a priority that we all can agree on.