It is disheartening to see a rise of shootings and firearms-related incidents across the nation, with killings, deaths and injuries all over the news. Organizations and groups of people representing children and firearms alike encourage gun owners to follow guidelines on how to safely store firearms.

Their calls are to make them inaccessible for children by keeping them away from ammunition, unloading them and keeping them locked and out of reach. Despite these guidelines, data analysis reveals that families having children and firearms may not be practicing these guidelines.

Statistics

Gun ownership varies across multiple factors: a family’s race, socioeconomic status, income and region all take into account. There is an estimated 34% of children in the US living in a household having at least one firearm, varying from rifles as being the most common, shotguns, handguns and a variety of other weapon types.

To put more perspective, families having an adult man are more likely to own a gun at home compared to females (41% and 12%, respectively) along with white families (43%) compared to Hispanics, African Americans, and other ethnic groups.

In 2017 alone, at almost 300 children were able to hold a gun and inadvertently shot others or themselves. A gun at home is also 43% more likely to be used on friends or family members, compared to criminals and burglars.

A source from the CDC WISQARS database observed data form 2013 to 2016 that saw an average of 78 children, teens and young adults killed or injured by guns.

Basic Home Safety

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the most effective way of ensuring gun safety for young adults and children is to have a home without guns and firearms in the first place, also reducing the chances of unintentional shooting and gun injuries, suicide and homicide statistics.

A home should represent a safe environment that may be put at risk when strangers invade and get their hands on unprotected and exposed firearms. Gun laws regulate the possession, use, and sale of weapons in states such as Wisconsin.

Residential property and other types of home insurance in Wisconsin can ensure a decreased impact for homes and properties damaged by firearms and intruders. For families who still decide to keep their guns at home, it is critical for the safety of the house that owners properly follow safe storage with all guns and firearms.

It should remain unloaded and locked as well as storing ammunition safely and out of reach. Keeping loaded guns in vehicles is also a bad idea while keeping arms in lockboxes with safety combinations can reinforce gun safety at home.

Unloaded gun

When in use for the occasional target practice or hunting,  remember to keep safety catches in place until ready to be fired. Also, unload the gun before placing it down, especially when near teens or children. Even with safety instructions taught to children, it can never be enough for them to handle lethal weapons such as guns and firearms.

Additional Safety Tips

Even when your home is gun-free or has firearms entirely inaccessible to children, ensuring that kids do not come into contact with guns in other locations (e.g. a friend’s house) by talking to neighbors and being wary.

If children come across a gun, they should be reminded to stay away from it and inform you about it. Informing children and teens about the difference of guns in the media (TV, video games and movies) and in real life should also be brought about, as firearms are extremely dangerous weapons.

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