Checklist for Talking About Gun Safety with a Child
Teach Your Child What to Do if He or She Sees a GUN
It has been estimated that there are guns in about half of the homes in the United States. Even if you donít have a gun at home, your child may visit a friend who does. Teach your child about gun safety to prevent a tragic accident.
Quick Safety Tips:
The Golden Rules of Safe Gun Handling
1. ALWAYS point the barrel of the gun in a safe direction. A safe direction is defined as a direction where if the gun discharged, nobody would get hurt. The best direction to point a gun is generally at the ground and to the side.
2. ALWAYS keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to
fire. Condition yourself to place your shooting hand index finger along the
side of the frame.
3. ALWAYS Keep the action open and the gun unloaded until you are ready to use it. The action is the moving parts of the gun that allow loading, unloading, firing and extraction of the empty case or shell.
Ten Commandments of Shooting Safety
1. Always point the muzzle in a safe direction.
Do not point a firearm or bow at anything you do not intend to shoot. Control the direction of the muzzle at all times. Never rest a muzzle on your toe or foot. Keep your finger out of the trigger guard until the instant you are ready to fire. Always keep the safety on until ready to fire; however, the safety should never be a substitute for safe firearm handling.
2. Trust every firearm with the same respect you would show a loaded gun.
Every time you pick up a firearm, the first thing you do is check to see if it is loaded. Be sure the chamber and magazine are empty and that the action is open until ready to be fired. If you do not understand how to determine if it is loaded, do not accept the firearm until someone has safely shown you that it is unloaded. Read your instruction manual carefully before you handle new or unfamiliar firearms.
Before you pull the trigger you must properly identify your
targetówhether that target is paper or an animal. Until your target is fully
visible and in good light, do not even raise your scope to see it. Use
binoculars! Know what is in front of and behind your target. Determine that
you have a safe backstop or background. Since you do not know what is on the
other side, never take a shot at any animals on top of ridges or hillsides.
Know how far bullets can travel. Never shoot at flat, hard surfaces, such as
water, rocks or steel because of ricochets.
Leave actions open, and store sporting arms in cases when traveling to
and from shooting areas. Take bolts out or break down shotguns, if
necessary. Know how your equipment operates. Store and transport firearms
and ammunition separately and under lock and key. Store firearms in cool,
dry places. Use gun or trigger locks and guards when not in use.
Avoid horseplay with firearms. Never climb a fence, a tree or a ladder
with a loaded firearm. Never jump a ditch or cross difficult terrain with a
loaded firearm. Never face or look down the barrel from the muzzle end. Be
sure the only ammunition you carry correctly matches the gauge or caliber
you are shooting. Learn the proper carries. Try to use the two-hand carry
whenever possible because it affords you the best muzzle control. Always
carry handguns with hammers over an empty chamber or cylinder. If you fall,
be sure to disassemble the gun and check the barrel from the breech end for
obstructions. Carry a field cleaning kit.
Your safe zone-of-fire is that area or direction in which you can safely
fire a shot. It is "down range" at a shooting facility. In the field, it is
that mental image you draw in your mind with every step you take. Be sure
you know where your companions are at all times. Never swing your gun out of
your safe zone-of-fire. Know the safe carries when there are persons to your
sides, in front of, or behind you. If in doubt, never take a shot. When
hunting, wear daylight fluorescent orange so you can be seen from a distance
or in heavy cover.
If you lose control of your emotions you may do something carelessly. If
you have just shot a target or animal you probably will be excited. At that
moment you may turn with a loaded firearm back towards your friends or you
might run with a loaded firearm towards a downed animal with the gun safety
off. You or someone else may be in danger once you lose control of your
emotions. Show discipline. Rehearse in your mind what the safe actions will
be. Do not allow your daydreams to preface good judgment. Show restraint and
pass up shots which have the slightest chance of being unsafe.
While shooting at the range, you must wear hearing and eye protection at
all times. Firearms are loud and can create noises which are damaging to a
person's hearing. It can be a gradual loss of hearing due to outbursts of
noise over many years. The damage could also be immediate, especially if
your ears are next to a muzzle blast. Vibrations from the blast are enough
to create loss of hearing. Wear glasses to protect your eyes from escaping
gases, burnt powder, and other debris.
Alcohol and drugs impair normal physical and mental body functions and
mustn't be used before or while handling firearms. These substances affect
emotions, making it easier to lose control.
Just because something isn't listed under these "ten commandments of shooting safety" doesn't mean you can ignore it if it is dangerous. There may be additional rules posted at a shooting range or other area which should also be followed. Also, practice reloading safety by following and reading all specific instructions. Practice all commandments of shooting safety. Ensure a safe future for you, your companions, and others!
It is against Texas State Law to allow a child to have access to a firearm. See the statute below.
Texas Penal Code, Section 46.13
Making a Firearm Accessible to a Child
(a) In this section:
(b) A person commits an offense if a child gains access to a readily dischargeable firearm and the person with criminal negligence:
(c) It is an affirmative defense to prosecution under this section that the child's access to the firearm:
(d) Except as provided by Subsection (e), an offense under this section is a Class C misdemeanor.
(e) An offense under this section is a Class A misdemeanor if the child discharges the firearm and causes death or serious bodily injury to himself or another person.
(f) A peace officer or other person may not arrest the actor before the seventh day after the date on which the offense is committed if:
(g) A dealer of firearms shall post in a conspicuous position on the premises where the dealer conducts business a sign that contains the following warning in block letters not less than one inch in height:
"IT IS UNLAWFUL TO STORE, TRANSPORT, OR ABANDON AN UNSECURED FIREARM IN A PLACE WHERE CHILDREN ARE LIKELY TO BE AND CAN OBTAIN ACCESS TO THE FIREARM."
Effective Sept. 1, 1999.
123 N. Oak Street, Sweeny, Texas, 77480, USA
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Last updated on 12-06-2013
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