Use common sense. Lieutenant Brandon Schiel with the Germantown Police Department (GPD) advises, “If you make the decision to keep a gun in the home or go armed, first and foremost, use good common sense and keep the weapon secured where your child cannot access it.”
to secure guns at home, keep unloaded and use:
Gun safes or boxes. Sizes vary but all should require a lock and key, combination, or fingerprint scan to open.
Gun safety locks. From trigger guards to cable-style locks, these are inexpensive and come in various forms. Safety locks are required by law to be included with every new firearm purchase but may be purchased separately.
Secure a carried weapon. Chip Holland, lead instructor for Range USA, reminds parents who are considering a concealed carry permit that, unlike an unloaded gun tucked inside a locked safe, a concealed weapon means you can never forget the gun is with you. “If your kids are with you or not, you still have to be conscious that you have it.”
To secure a concealed weapon:
Keep it holstered - Holland and Schiel agree that the safest place for carrying a concealed weapon around children is on your body. Schiel recommends a holster attached securely to a belt or ankle, not in a pocket or tucked in a waistband. Holland adds holsters should also cover trigger guards, thus preventing little fingers from pulling the trigger.
If carrying in a purse, Holland still stresses the importance of a secure holster that protects the trigger, preferably strapped down in the purse. In addition, moms should never lay the purse down unattended, be it in a shopping cart, while pumping gas, or at a restaurant.
Learn gun safety. Classes for adults are available through local gun ranges, law enforcement agencies, and individual instructors. However, GPD school resource officer Andy Griffith says parents shouldn’t stop there. “Even if a parent doesn’t want to carry a gun, if they have a spouse or loved one who does, they should take a class on gun safety, too.” It’s important to educate the non-carrying spouse on what’s required to make a weapon safe in the absence of the gun owner.
To Educate children on gun safety rules:
Eddie Eagle GunSafe© (preK-grade 4) • Eddieeagle.nra.org
TWRA Hunter Education • Huntercourse.com/tennessee
Youth courses offered at local gun ranges, ask for details