We make it through because we learn how to use these tools safely, which should always be the primary focus where firearms are concerned. Safety becomes doubly important when firearms and children are in the house. Unsupervised kids and guns do not mix, so it’s important to start educating your children about firearms safety at an early age.

Remove the Mystery Take the time to instruct your kids about guns, remove the mystery and neutralize the “forbidden fruit” syndrome. Take your children to the range and let them shoot your guns under your supervision. Help them learn how they work and the proper way to handle them safely. Above all, make them respect what firearms can do. Develop a Fall-Back Plan Should an intruder break into your home, do they know what to do? More important, do they know where to go to avoid injury should you have to defend them? One of the big dangers in using any firearm for home defense is that you run the risk of hitting the wrong person. It’s easy for a bullet to penetrate through some drywall and hit somebody on the other side or even exit your house and hurt a neighbor. The use of deadly force should always be a last resort, and firearms owners should be well versed in their state and local laws. Once again, your brain is your greatest safety tool. You probably have worked out a fire plan with your family, so doesn’t it make sense to work out a home-invasion plan? You should know where the other family members are located. You should also know where it’s safe to shoot and where it’s not safe. Consider loading your handgun with specialty ammunition designed to reduce penetration and the chances of a ricochet. Perhaps the best known and most proven ammo of this type is the Glaser Safety Slug. The Glaser uses a bullet with a thin jacket filled with small birdshot covered with a soft plastic tip. It’s been proven to work well in stopping intruders but won’t penetrate walls as easily as conventional loads do. Educating your children and establishing a fall-back plan for your family is all part of being a responsible gun owner. It’s how we ensure their safety, whether it’s with our lawn mowers, power saws, gas cans or firearms.

One of the best investments a gun owner can make is a gun safe. Not only does it provide reasonably good protection from theft, but it keeps guns out of the reach of curious young hands and provides a ventilated environment for uncased firearms

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