Each year, more than 500 children and teenagers are killed by guns and more than 99,000 men, women and children are wounded. An estimated 1.2 million young children may have access to guns in their homes.
Nearly one out of two homes in the United States has a gun.
Before the age of 8, few children can distinguish a toy gun from a real gun.
Practicing gun safety and teaching it to children is very important.
Gun safety and children
Take time to tell children about the dangers of playing with guns. Stress the difference between gun violence on television and real-life consequences. Teach them that guns are not toys and even toy guns should not be pointed at people.
Practice the “all-guns-are-loaded” philosophy. Always handle guns as if they are loaded.
Tell your children: “If you find a gun, leave it alone and tell an adult.” Repeat often: “Stay away from guns.”
If you own a gun, participate in a firearms safety program. Always read and follow instructions.
Never store a gun while it is loaded. Do not trust the safety. Store unloaded guns in a locked cabinet or with a gunlock in place. They should be out of sight and out of reach of children. Ammunition should be kept in a separate place - locked up. Gun and ammunition storage keys should be stored in a safe place.
Alcohol or other mind altering drugs and guns do not mix.