End Family Fire encourages parents and guardians to ask a simple question: “Is there an unlocked gun in your home?”
Parents and guardians ask all sorts of questions before they allow their children to visit other homes. They ask about pets in the house, discuss allergies and internet access, and ask questions about supervision. Why not ask if there's a gun in the house?
It’s a simple question, but it has the power to save a child’s life.
As life events change, there may be more circumstances where one needs to ask this question. Here are some examples.
- Teens taking their first babysitting job: “Is there an unlocked and/or loaded gun in your home?”
- Older teens and young adults moving into their first group home: “Does anyone own a gun? If so, how is it stored?”
- When a family needs to take in and care for an elder family member, especially those who may suffer from a form of dementia: “Will the safety measures we use to protect our kids from accessing guns also work in this situation? Do we need to rethink how we safely store the guns?”
- Always store guns locked, unloaded, and out of children’s reach.
- Always store ammunition separately from its gun. This reduces the risk of family fire up to 61 percent.
- Consider offsite gun storage options in your area.
- From gun locks to safes, there's a range of effective solutions best suited for both gun and home.
- Always transport the gun locked inside a cool, clean, dry carrying case or storage box. These should always have numerical combinations or fingerprint recognition locks.
- Have ongoing conversations with family and friends about responsible gun ownership and gun safety.
- If you are not confident or have doubts about gun ownership, consider other home protection alternatives, such as: home security systems, alarms and guard dogs.
- Ensure these safety measures are followed in the home, as well as wherever you may travel with the gun, such as vacation homes and automobiles.
- Having regular conversations about gun safety with those close to you reduces the chance of family fire incidents.
- Gun owners, in particular, are highly encouraged to help end family fire incidents by educating friends, family, and members of their community on responsible gun ownership.
- Ensure that guns are apart of your family’s safety conversations and consider how these conversations need to change as your family grows and evolves.
Local police departments are a great first resource to learn about community programs. There also may be policy options available in your area which help reduce the risk of family fire, such as these:
- Child Access Prevention Laws hold gun owners accountable for the safe storage of firearms, imposing liability for failing to take simple yet important measures to prevent guns from falling into young hands.
- Safe Storage Laws promote responsible gun-owning practices by requiring gun owners to keep their firearms out of the reach of others, such as children or prohibited persons, who could use the weapon to deadly effect.
- Extreme Risk Laws provide family, intimate partners, household members and law enforcement officials, and in some cases - healthcare professionals, a safe and effective way of removing access to firearms from individuals at risk of harming themselves or others. Extreme risk laws are civil court orders that enable guns to be removed from the home, and further purchases prevented, for a fixed period of time.