10 Rules for Being a Safe Gun-Owning Parent

Rebecca Bahret of SheKnows.com contacted me recently about compiling a list of the top X-number of safety tips for gun storage when kids are present. I was flattered she thought enough of the blog to ask me. I obliged, obviously, and thought of ten items. With word-count limits, deadlines, and so forth, it was trimmed down a good bit.

It was even worthy of an infographic! Legit.

Image: Terese Condella/SheKnows

Here is her final article. It’s a great article for her target audience.

Since I’m not obligated to any word count limits, here’s what I sent her. I hope it makes a good complement to her article:

  1. This whole list will share a common theme. I teach it as the *Fifth* fundamental firearms safety rule. Here’s the first four. The rule is, “Prevent access to your firearms by unauthorized people”. Children are on that list of people we don’t want having free access to our firearms. If you take this rule as seriously as the other four, the rest falls into place.
  2. Leaving a firearm with an empty chamber on a shelf, or with a magazine nearby is not enough to guarantee they won’t be able to figure out how to load and fire it. Even if by accident. Just like enough monkeys with typewriters will eventually type the complete works of Shakespeare, so too will your child eventually figure out how to make your pistol go bang if so inclined.
  3. If you carry off-body (purse, briefcase, etc), keep complete control of your purse. Do NOT leave it in the shopping cart while you reach for the cereal. Kids move quickly.
  4. Demystify firearms as soon as possible. Make the gun a part of your everyday life, and introduce your child to it early. Tell them they can handle it (don’t use the words “Play”) whenever they want, as along as you are there with them. Let them watch you clean it, dry fire, so on. Removing the mystery early is key.
  5. If you are not in direct control of the firearm, it needs to be locked away. On top of a shelf or under a sofa doesn’t count. Think your child doesn’t know it’s there and can’t reach it? Think again.
  6. Educate them on what to do if they find a firearm that is unsecured. Ensure they know to tell the nearest adult and that they should stay away from it. This instance shows a positive outcome of a child/gun interaction.
  7. Cost is no excuse to not lock up your pistol. The GunVault NV300 NanoVault with Combination Lock is less than $25.
  8. The easier a gun is to access, the less secure it is. The inverse is also true. For the home, there are quick access safes like the Gunvault SpeedVault SV500.  but I feel the best solution is to just wear your pistol in the house when you can. I carry a small framed auto in the house. It’s my underwear gun. When you decide to put the gun down for the day, lock it up.
  9. Use Nerf and Airsoft to introduce your children to safe firearms handling. Make them obey the safety rules.
  10. Your children will learn from TV and Media about guns unless you step in and educate them first. Don’t let them think it’s a game or that guns are to be taken lightly.

Seek further training to get more ideas. The NRA has a great program on this topic. https://eddieeagle.nra.org/

Stay Safe and Protect the Brood,


13 thoughts on “10 Rules for Being a Safe Gun-Owning Parent”

  1. Also teach them that everything the media says about guns is an outright lie intended only for evil purposes

  2. The infographic is obviously done by someone who has never needed to use a stored firearm for safety. It’s hard enough to unlock your safe (even a quick safe) and have your weapon available if someone just kicked in your door… it’s near impossible if you have to insert the magazine (or god forbid, load the magazine first), let alone if your ammunition is in a completely different location.

    If your weapon is properly locked keeping ammunition with it should not be a problem. And if you ever need the weapon in an emergency, having the ammunition in a different location will likely make the weapon completely worthless.

      1. A weapon intended for home defense/CCW can be considered “in use” at all times and so the storing ammo separately rule doesn’t apply. That said, loaded guns should obviously be treated with extreme caution as you can never have even a momentary lapse where a child or other unauthorized people can get their hands on it (barring that you’re actively engaged in training your child)

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