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Gun Safety for the Family

Most accidental firearm-related child deaths involve guns that are loaded and accessible. Whether or not there are guns in your home, your children must know about gun safety. Children may see guns in unexpected places and must understand that guns are not toys and can cause harm.

Talk to your kids and teach them the following safety steps:

  • Stop
  • Do not touch the gun
  • Leave the area
  • Tell an adult right away

Be a responsible gun owner:

  • Always lock the gun
  • Keep the gun unloaded
  • Store bullets in a locked container separately from gun

Injury Facts

  • Every 7 ½ hours a child or teen is killed by a gun – by accident or suicide
  • From 1995 to 2000, an average of 4 children died every day in an accidental firearm incident
  • During the past ten years, an average of 1,323 kids and teens committed suicide with a firearm each year
  • In 2001, over 14,000 kids were injured by a firearm and over 13,000 kids were injured by BB/pellet guns
  • A child as young as 3 has the finger strength to pull a trigger
  • As many as 80 percent of first and second graders know where their parents' gun is kept
  • Boys are more likely to suffer from gun related injuries than girls

Children must understand the difference between what they see on television and video games. Real life violence injures and kills.

Guns are not toys. Even BB and pellet guns can cause serious injury.

Things to think about:

  • Don’t be shy about finding out if guns are located at homes of friends where your children are visiting - ASK
  • Make sure your children know the risks
  • Children are curious – they will explore
  • As a gun owner, make sure all guns are unloaded and locked and safely stored
  • Need a gun lock – check with Baylor Scott & White Injury Prevention
  • Never place guns under the mattress or in a bedside table
  • The majority of firearm injuries occur when children are left unsupervised

There is great debate over the safety of guns in the home but the decision rests with the home owner. Know there are risks and take the responsibility very seriously.

Additional Resources