CNN recently reported that a seven-year-old child brought a gun to a Michigan elementary school. Reporters say the child’s mother and her fiancée have been charged accordingly. The mother has been charged with a misdemeanor for child abuse in the fourth degree. In addition, the fiancée was charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm, which is a felony. As of now, the fiancée is in custody for unrelated charges.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time a child brought a gun to school. Earlier this year, a six-year-old child brought a gun to school in Pennsylvania, which resulted in the mother turning herself in and being arraigned on such charges.
While these two cases significantly differ, there is a shared underlying issue here, i.e., the child’s accessibility to firearms and the dangers they possess.
Access to Firearms: How Dangerous Are They?
According to research, around 1.7 million American children live in homes with firearms that are not responsibly stored. The same link also talks about how children unintentionally shoot themselves or someone else yearly when they find unlocked but loaded guns.
These findings are concerning as they could result in an unsafe environment in one’s home, physical and mental pain, and even a national crisis for the entire country.
Gun violence creates multiple issues that start from the home, then escalate to a broader area. While ongoing debates have been moving back and forth, many American citizens can at least begin with basic gun safety in their homes with proper storage and an honest discussion. Here are handy tips on how to do both.
How To Safely Store Guns:
1. Invest in some locks, cases, and even a safe.
One of the first steps for responsible gun ownership is to invest in some locks, cases, or even safes to keep one’s firearms safe from unauthorized use. Depending on the level of quality and feature it possesses, one may need to invest more, especially with high-quality products.
Here are some options readily available:
Trigger locks. One of the most affordable options for gun locking is a trigger lock which prevents a gun from being loaded or fired by unauthorized users. Trigger locks come in many types, although many come in direct contact with the trigger. Due to this direct contact, one should never install a trigger lock on loaded guns.
Strongbox or security case. Alternatively, you can also invest in strong boxes or security cases. Many of these products feature anti-theft and gun-finish protection features, making them portable. This portable feature enables users to move their firearms quickly and efficiently from one place to another without the risk of harming anyone. Prices vary significantly with these models, although technology-incorporated ones are more expensive.
Gun safe. As for owners who would like to keep their firearms completely away from access, gun safes are the most secure gun storage available option. Many of these have dedicated racks and lined interiors to help protect the finish of the firearms while making it difficult for unauthorized users to steal them. Aside from protecting one’s gun and others, gun safes provide additional security against fires, floods, and other natural disasters.
Depending on the safety mechanism you invest in, there are some additional steps you also need to take. Some of which include:
Lock your gun and keep the key on you. Never provide easy access to anyone, especially to children.
Before storing your firearms, ensure it’s unloaded, uncocked, and securely locked. It must also be out of sight or reach.
When removing a semi-automatic magazine, remember to check the chamber for bullets.
Lock ammunition separately from your gun. Keep ammunition away from moisture and heat.
Never keep your gun or ammunition under your bed, mattress, or hidden areas around your home, even if it’s “easy access.”
Reasons to Invest in a Gun Safe:
While trigger locks and cases are helpful, they are only sometimes reliable. If you’re thinking of something that ensures overall safety for everyone included, a high-quality gun safe may be the best option.
Here are some reasons to get a gun safe:
1. It keeps children away from your gun.
Many gun owners view firearms as a constitutional right. The need to protect one’s family and keep them safe from harm is valid and vital.
Unfortunately, many children are curious and can dig into spots that one wouldn’t expect. Thanks to its security features, investing in a gun protection mechanism like a safe can prevent children from easily breaking in.
2. It keeps your guns away from thieves.
Aside from children, a gun safe prevents burglars from using your weapon for nefarious purposes. Worst case scenario, they’ll have access to your gun and use it against you.
3. It protects your guns from external damage.
Many people consider guns an investment, meaning you should treat them as such. Investing in safe products also protects your initial purchase and ensures it stays effective for emergencies. Gun safes not only protect against unauthorized access, but it also protects your firearms against natural disasters that can cause damage. Some examples include fire, floods, etc.
4. It prevents legal complications.
Depending on your state, some laws require gun owners to keep firearms secure. One reason is that a child or burglar’s unauthorized access and use of firearms will eventually reflect on you, making you criminally liable, despite the circumstances surrounding it. Aside from these potential dangers, the fines associated with arguing your case could leave you with many problems.
Gun Control: Where Are We Now in 2023?
As for now, there have been talks about “gun insurance,” which was met with overwhelming criticism, especially from people who believe such a mandate is unconstitutional.
However, a few Americans believe otherwise and that proposing such a mandate will help instill accountability for gun use while also providing incentives to various gun owners.
Whether you support or are against the idea of “gun insurance,” it’s safe to say that both parties have valid points on why such a mandate could be problematic and beneficial at the same time. Considering it’s still in the early stages, it will take much time and compromise before a feasible solution can manifest.
Takeaway: Investing in proper gun storage and locks can protect you from future problems. If you’d like to add extra security measures, never tell anyone where you keep your firearms and never show off on social media. Remember, safety always comes first.