IRON MOUNTAIN— With 33 percent of U.S. households having a gun in the house and half of the gun owning households not properly securing their guns, the Michigan State Police (MSP) is seeking to educate parents, guardians and gun owners about the simple precautions you can take to keep children safe.
According to the Center for Child Disease Control, 1,337 American children under age 18 died as the result of a gunshot in 2010.
Incidents such as these may be prevented if gun owners take more precautions and parents and guardians talk to children about gun safety.
“Parents and guardians need to educate their children about what to do if they see a gun,” said Community Service Trooper Geno Basanese, Iron Mountain Post.
“If a child finds a gun they must stop what they’re doing, do not touch the gun, leave the area and tell an adult.”
Additional safety tips for gun owners:
-Store firearms in a locked cabinet, safe, gun vault or storage case when not in use, ensuring the gun(s) is in a location inaccessible by children and cannot be handled by anyone without your permission.
-Remove ammunition from the firearm and store the ammunition in a locked location separate from the firearm.
-Store the key for the firearm case/cabinet and the ammunition in a different area from where you store household keys. Keep the keys out of the reach of children.
-Use a gun-locking device that renders the firearm inoperable when not in use. A gun lock should be used as an additional safety precaution and not as a substitute for secure storage.
-Gun-cleaning supplies are often poisonous, and should also be locked up to prevent access by children.
-Educate everyone in your household about firearms safety.
All parents should talk to their children about the dangers of guns. Children should be told not to touch guns, and to tell an adult if they find a gun. Parents should also ask if guns are safely stored at places their children visit or play.