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Gun ownership becomes very different when you have a child. As an adult, you already know the realities of having a gun. When a child comes into the picture, you’re dealing with someone who can’t yet comprehend the consequences of using a weapon. Family gun safety is key Consider these basic safety tips to help your family and your home safe.

Discuss Gun Safety

The first step is communication; you have to discuss gun safety openly with your child. If there is a gun in your home, your child needs to know about it. While guns can be dangerous, they are also a part of your child’s reality. They should know how the gun works and how they should behave around the weapon. When your child is aware of the gun in the home and knows how to act around it risk goes down.

This kind of basic safety training will help your child to respect the fact that the gun you got from a place like Wilcox Bait & Tackle is not a toy. It can also help to keep your child safe when around other children who might not have received the same training. The more your child knows, the less you will have to worry about accidents happening in the home.

Demonstrate Responsible Ownership

It is always a good idea to brush up on gun safety yourself. Your child will look at how you treat guns and develop a very similar attitude. Knowing how to properly handle, take care of, and use a gun will rub off on your children. You are the example for your children, so gun safety needs to start with you. Go back to the basics, treating your gun like the very first you owned.

This means never keeping it loaded, never point it at anyone, and always assuming that any gun you handle is potentially loaded. It’s the kind of basic safety you have incorporated into your daily life for years, but now it is something that should be continuously demonstrated for your children.

Get a Safe

Keep the gun in a safe place. This should go without saying, but you should absolutely never keep your gun in a place where your child can access the weapon. If you have children, it’s a good idea to buy a gun safe of some sort. It doesn’t have to be a huge safe if all you own is one handgun, but make sure that it’s something that can’t be easily accessed while your child is playing.

If at all possible, make sure that your guns and ammunition are stored completely separately—while this might make your life a little less organized, it will help to prevent tragedies. There are plenty of safe types out there, so find one that meets your needs.

Always make sure that guns are treated with the respect that they deserve. Don’t turn your guns into monsters—make sure your child understands exactly what kind of power they have. If you are honest and careful, you should be able to avoid any kind of gun-related tragedy in your home.