Firearm Safety Around the Holidays
The holiday season is a great time to catch up with friends and reconnect with family, and it is the time of the year when everyone is happy, more generous, and sociable. However, it is not a time to forget about gun safety or reduce safety when it comes to storing your firearm.
Everyone knows that you should always treat a gun like it’s loaded all the time, but many people may not know how to store with firearm safety in mind. To ensure you have ticked off every firearm safety task before the holiday season, we have compiled a list of the best practices regarding gun safety.
Safety Around Children
Every day, eight children and teenagers are accidentally injured or killed due to a “family fire,” which is a shooting caused by someone who had access to a gun at home. Ensure your firearm is stored and locked away before anyone comes to your house during the holidays. This practice guarantees that small or larger accidents do not happen to anyone or that children cannot access them unattended. Many children do not know the difference between a real gun and a toy gun, so double-checking that they are secure is best practice.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, around one in three homes in the US have firearms, so vigilance is vital.
Firearm Safety Storage
To store your firearm safely, the first task is to unload any ammunition from it. If someone unwanted manages to get their hands on the gun, they will not do any damage to themselves or others if there are no bullets within it.
Once the ammunition is removed, your gun should be stored in a quiet, secure place. Holding your gun in a bedroom drawer or wardrobe is not a safe place, and you could be putting everyone in the house in danger. Depending on the size of the gun, you can store it in several different ways. These options include a lockable gun case for rifles, a gun safe for handguns, and a full-sized gun safe for larger guns.
A cable lock and padlock or trigger lock can be used for the gun inside these storage containers for extra precautions or to lock the case on the outside. Ensure you store the key in a high-up place, away from the gun storage and out of reach of little, inquisitive hands.
Once your gun is stored safely in one of the secure places mentioned previously, you should also locate your ammunition. Your ammunition should be stored in a separate place from your gun for extra safety. These, like your firearm, should be stored in a safe box or cabinet like an electrical or standard lockbox. Again, this will ensure that no unwanted hands can get a hold of these dangerous items, reducing the possibility of an accident occurring. If you separately store your firearm and ammunition, you can reduce an accident by up to 61%.
Explore Off-Site Storage
If you are uneasy about firearm safety in your house during the holiday season, especially if multiple small children will be spending an extended amount of time, then it may be a good idea to explore off-sight storage. Several places like law enforcement, shooting ranges, and gun shops will offer off-site storage. Many states have resources for information on the various locations that are temporary, long-term, and legal. This would be a great option if a family member is struggling with their mental health, there is domestic tension, or if you’re selling your house after the holidays.
Navigating Difficult Conversations around Firearms
During the holidays, with many different people getting together to spend an extended amount of time in one place, there may be clashes during conversations between gun owners, non-gun owners, and firearm safety. To navigate these difficult conversations in the best way possible, it is essential to establish common ground and understand the other side by asking questions and practicing active listening. Active listening involves listening to what a person is saying without forming a counter-argument in your head. To avoid these conversations from turning from open discussion to a heated one, you need to know when to finish it.
Continuing the Firearm Safety Conversation
Even after the holidays, having regular conversations about gun safety with your loved ones, your friends, and even your children is the best practice. When everyone is more informed, it will ensure less chance of an accident. Talking about adequately storing and using your gun safely on a hunt or in the shooting range will spread the gun safety message far and wide.
If you need any more information about gun safety, then check out MGS Safety School, as they have several incredibly informative programs in which you can increase your knowledge about everything to do with gunsmithing and firearm safety. Let MGS Trade School help you on your way to becoming an excellent, but safety-conscious, gunsmith.
By: Ryan Clancy, Engineering HQ