When you become a parent, it’s hard to think of anyone or anything that is more precious to you — except, perhaps, your spouse. As loving parents, we want to give our children the world and protect them from every harm we possibly can. While we can’t protect them from everything, there is plenty we can do to keep them safe.
Have you noticed how frequently the argument about child safety is brought up in regard to changing gun control laws? No, this isn’t going to turn into a politically-charged rant or a soapbox about gun laws. The truth is that yes, firearms have the potential to be dangerous and, as parents and gun owners, that can be a delicate thing to balance. Of course, of course, we want to do everything humanly possible to protect our children — but does that mean keeping your AR 15 handy for home defense purposes or taking all of your firearms to a local gun reseller to get them out of the house? Ultimately, the answer is up to you and your spouse/partner/significant other to decide how to best balance gun ownership with having kids in the house. But, here are a few safety suggestions to keep in mind to help you make your decision and protect your kids as well as possible.
First and foremost, keep your firearms securely locked up. That’s it. That should always be step one. Don’t leave your firearms out where your curious toddler could pick it up, not even for two minutes while you answer the door. If you aren’t actively cleaning your gun or packing it up to head out to the shooting range, it should be well secured. And by secured, we mean in a gun safe or other secure location that the door cannot be pried open and the lock can’t be broken.
You are responsible for your firearms, so if a minor gets a hold of one of your guns, gets hurt, or hurts someone — no matter how accidental — you are responsible and you will face jail time or other legal measures. “But having a gun for home defense doesn’t do any good if it’s locked up!” is no excuse. If time is of the essence, keep your gun safe where you can access it easily and practice opening it so often that you can rely on muscle memory. But don’t let home defense concerns stop you from locking your firearms up safely.
Kids are smart. Smarter than most adults give them credit for, most of the time. If you are going to keep guns in your home, have honest discussions with your kids — and don’t stop at just one talk. Be sure to explain that your firearms are not a toy, especially if your kids have toy guns in the toybox. You don’t need to get too complex or detailed in your discussions, but make it clear that guns are not toys and should never be handled. Think of it like teaching your young kids to stay away from the stove or the kitchen knives and explain it in an understandable way depending on your child’s age.
There are books, videos, and other resources available for helping talk to your kids about firearms in an understandable way, so that can be a good place to start. If you’re not sure how to go about those conversations, the teachers and specialists at your local shooting range may also be able to provide some tips to talk about gun safety with your kids.
At RailScales, we want to be a valuable resource not just for the best AR accessories, but for resources to make gun ownership safe as well as fun. There is so much more to gun safety with kids than we can get to in a single blog post, so stay tuned to RailScales’ blog for even more ways to keep your kids safe as a firearm owner.
It’s just as important to make sure your AR 15 is safe and comfortable for your use. Explore our selection of AR 15 hand stop and rail scale options to make it as easy as possible to get into a solid shooting stance. Learn more about our lightweight, heat protective M-LOK and KeyMod handstop and rail scale options online and order today!