Children and Firearms
- A safety guide from American Derringer
For as long as there have been firearms, there
has been the need to protect and educate our children when it
comes to safe use and storage. One of the biggest problems we
have today is that there is not enough firearms safety training
for children. Here at American Derringer Corp., we are as concerned
about your children and their safety as you are. Here are some
basic rules and suggestions for making your home a safe environment
for both children and your firearms.
- Don't try to hide
a gun in the house, thinking that the child will never find it.
They will. Children have the ability to find anything adults
can hide. And, the better something is hidden, the harder the
child will look for it, and the more importance it will have
to the child once it is found.
- Avoid attaching
any mystique to the firearm through flat prohibition. Nothing
gets a child's attention faster or stronger than being told "No,"
without explanation or reasoning. Children are smart, and will
see through flat prohibition.
- If you carry a
firearm on a daily basis, be sure to secure it when you get home.
Make sure that your child knows you do this, and why.
- Teach your children
these basic firearms safety rules:
- Always assume that
a gun is loaded, even after you have personally unloaded it.
- Never point a firearm
at another person. Never point a firearm in the direction of
anything except a proper target at a range or while hunting.
- Never handle a
- Never accept a
firearm from another person unless they have shown it to be unloaded
in front of you. Never assume.
- Always verify the
unloaded condition of a firearm.
- Never throw, drop,
or otherwise mishandle a firearm.
- When encountering
a strange gun (say laying on the street), do not pick it up.
Contact an adult (preferably a law enforcement officer) as soon
as possible. When possible, keep other children away from the
gun. Do not make any assumptions about a "found" weapon."
- When firing at
a range, always keep the gun pointed down range, towards the
- A firearm is not
a toy. Do not treat it like one.
- Do not show off
firearms to friends and schoolmates. And, do not tell friends
and schoolmates that there are firearms in the house. Do not
take a firearm from its place without a parent present.
- Always use proper
ear and eye protection when at the range.
- A firearm is not
a status symbol, or indicator of strength. Do not use it as one.
- Whenever you are
in doubt about a firearm, do not touch it. Get an adult to check
it for you.
- Remember, it is
our right to keep and bear arms, but it also our responsibility
to do so safely.
It only takes one little mistake to cause a big accident.
- Let them know that
firearms are capable of bodily injury, destruction and possibly
death if misused. Do not "soft-soap" the truth. Apply
the same principles as Driver's Education courses in the schools
- Start your children
off right by showing them the ropes about guns. This includes
showing them the proper procedures for unloading, verifying and
handling a firearm. Where available, a certified instructor should
be used to teach proper shooting and safety technique.
- Make sure to show
your children how to clean and care for a firearm. A dirty, or
abused gun is more dangerous than any other.
- Encourage your
children to learn these safety rules, and to follow them. One
method that helps is to take them to the range (once they are
old enough to handle a firearm) and let them shoot. Another method
is to use airguns in early training and safety education. This
will not only further strengthen the other lessons, but will
also serve to remove the mystique that has been put up around
firearms. It is this mystique that leads to most firearms accidents
- Remember, nothing
is as good as education, and open, honest discussion.
- When there are
many children visiting, secure your firearms in a proper lock-box,
safe, or unreachable location that you can monitor. Keep all
spare ammo separate from the guns.
- If you're child
is alone in the house regularly, consider getting a small safe
or lockbox to keep your firearms in when you are not there.
- Be sure to follow
all of the rules you set for your children. If you violate any
of them, the child will feel comfortable in following your example.
© 2000-2011 American Derringer Corp.