Local News

Education is Key to Gun Safety

Posted December 17, 1997 12:00 a.m. EST

— Many people aren't willing to give up their guns when they have children. But there are ways to make sure children and firearms don't find each other.

There are several gadgets available at gun shops that will secure your weapon and keep your kids from firing it. But another key is to give your child a first class education on the good and bad use of guns.

Those two steps could mean the difference between life and death if your child gets his hand on your gun.

Gregg Balch brings his 13-year-old son to the firing range not just to shoot, but to educate him on gun safety

Listen to auor real audiofiles. "The first thing we taught him was that the weapon is always loaded, so if you pick it up it's loaded. The second thing he learned was the safety on a gun. The third thing he learned was never touch a gun unless dad is around."

Even when there is no one around, gun instructor Steven Rakes says there are things you can buy to keep your gun from firing when you don't want them to.

There is a trigger lock that resembles a bike lock, a cable lock that loops through the trigger of the weapon, and an inter-tube band.

Listen to auor real audiofiles. "It goes over the muzzle of the firearm, and the hammer children under the age of six do not possess the physical strength to manipulate that."

Rakes says you can also buy gun boxes that come with a lock, or a steel traveling box.

Listen to auor real audiofiles. "It has a sequence lock, after two or three failed attempts to open it, it will lock up."

Balch does have a trigger guard and keeps his guns unloaded in a safe. But Greg and his son still believe one of the best way to keep safe is through education.

Listen to auor real audiofiles. "I know how to handle it without messing up, without hurting me or someone else."

Most of those protective items also let parents know if their child has tampered with the gun.

If you have a lot of guns, you can also buy a gun vault which is about the size of a refrigerator to store them.