Gun safety in the home has become a huge topic of debate over the last several years. Many parents keep firearms to protect their families in the event of a break-in, but others are concerned that keeping a gun in a home with children poses safety risks that just aren’t worth it.

Is it safe for parents to keep guns in their homes?

Although there is a lot of debate about gun safety and whether firearms should be kept in homes with children, the simple answer is this: it isn’t safe for parents to keep guns in their homes if they can be accessed by children, pets, or anyone other than the parents who are licensed and trained to handle them. However, many parents keep guns in their homes without issue, because they’ve taken all of the necessary precautions needed to keep their weapons out of reach of others.

How parents can safely secure guns in their homes

Parents who keep guns in their homes have a responsibility to their children and themselves to make sure their firearms are securely locked up and out of reach of everyone other than the gun owner. Here is how parents can safely secure the guns in their homes:

  • Lock up unloaded guns with the safety on. Most home safety experts recommend using a safe to store firearms, but if that’s not an option, at least secure them in a locked cabinet that’s out of reach of children. For added safety, you can also use a gun lock or disassemble the weapon, but even with these measures, the gun still needs to be locked up.
  • Store ammunition separately from guns. It should be kept in a different safe or locked cabinet than the firearm.
  • When using the gun, keep the safety on until you are ready to fire it.
  • If you keep a gun in your car, keep it unloaded when it’s not in use, and put it back in its secure storage space every time you come home. Loaded guns should never be left unattended in vehicles.