Gun safety for children and adults

From Charlotte police:

For Children:

Stay safe around guns. Do you know someone who owns a gun? Most adults are allowed to own a gun by law and therefore, many have one. This means that even if there isn't a gun in your house, you need to know what to do if you see one.

If you see a gun, follow these steps to safety.

• Stop.

• Don't Touch.

• Get away.

• Tell an adult.

When you follow these steps, you're protecting yourself and helping keep other people safe.

Here are some examples of times you might see a gun. Do you know why each example is dangerous?

• Your friend shows you his/her parent's gun.

• You see a gun in someone's backpack at school.

• You hear a guy/girl say they're going to bring a gun to school.

• You find a gun in the woods or in the park near your house.

For adults

As many as 10 children are killed each day by guns in the United States.

The 12 Golden Rules for Safe Gun Handling

  • Always treat the gun as loaded.
  • Always keep the gun pointed in a safe direction.
  • Always keep your finger straight and off the trigger until you are ready to shoot.
  • Always keep the gun unloaded until you are ready to use it.
  • Never point the gun at anything you don't intend to destroy.
  • Be sure of your target and what is beyond it.
  • Learn the mechanical and handling characteristics of the gun you are using.
  • Always use proper ammunition.
  • Be sure the barrel is clear of obstructions before loading and shooting.
  • If your gun fails to fire when the trigger is pulled, hold your shooting position for several second; then with the muzzle pointed in a safe direction, carefully unload the gun.
  • Don't rely on the gun's safety to keep it from firing.
  • Be aware of your surroundings when handling guns so you don't trip or lose your balance and accidentally point and/ or fire the gun at anyone or anything.

Rules for Safe Gun Storage

  • Keep all guns and ammunition out of the reach of children, untrained adults and those who would use them improperly.
  • Always keep your guns locked in a gun safe that cannot be easily broken into or taken away.
  • If a gun safe is not available, use a cable lock or trigger lock.
  • When using a gun safe, do not disclose the code or give the key to anyone.
  • Store you gun unloaded with the safety on.
  • Store guns and ammunition in a cool dry place, away from heat and fire.
  • Keep the gun clean, dry and well oiled while in storage. 

Information You Need to Know to Keep Your Children Safe 

  • Ask your children if they have ever seen a gun at a friend's house or at school.
  • Remind that never to touch any gun or bullets.
  • Tell them to leave immediately if they ever see a gun in someone else's house.
  • Stress to your children that guns can hurt and/or kill.
  • Explain the difference toy guns and real guns.
  • Encourage your children to tell you if they ever feel unsafe at home, at a friend's house or at school.
  • Talk to your children about violence on TV, in movies and in videogames. Explain to them that, in real life, violence leads to pain and suffering and encourage them to discuss with you how they feel.
  • Encourage your children to make safe decisions.
  • Invite your children to come to you whenever they have questions or concerns about guns, weapons and violence on any type.

Tips for Keeping Your Children Safe from Guns

  • Check with other parents to find out if they have a gun in their home before your child visits.
  • Help your child choose programs, movies and videogames that are non-violent.
  • Be a positive role model at home.
  • Encourage your child to participate in games and activities that teach good decision making skills.
  • Be on the lookout for signs of depression, since suicide is one of the common causes of youth handgun deaths.