Owning a gun is a big responsibility, especially when you have children. Many people don’t realize that a majority of accidents involving guns could have been avoided if the firearms were properly locked in safes and other precautions were taken. According to Common Sense About Kids and Guns, over 13,000 children were injured by a gun in 2002. Further, the organization says that “40% of American households have a gun in them, and 30% of those guns are loaded and not secured.” These statistics are terrifying and as a result, many organizations are creating gun safety programs directed at children to help bring these numbers down.
- Eddie Eagle Gun Safe Program – Eddie the Eagle was created by the National Rifle Association of America (NRA) and is directed at children from preschool to third grade. The program teaches kids what to do in the event that they find a gun. The mascot has visited over 26 million children and Eddie the Eagle never discusses whether owning a gun is good or bad, but promotes the importance of not touching a firearm if they ever see one.
- ProjectChildSafe.org– This is a nationwide program that puts an emphasis on teaching people who own firearms how to properly handle and store them. The program offers free “Safety Kits,” which include a cable-style gun-locking device and a pamphlet that addresses proper gun safety and storage. The purpose of the program is to prevent children from getting their hands on firearms and harming themselves or others. If you are interested in receiving a “Safety Kit,” visit the website to find out who the distribution partner is in your area.
- National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF)– This organization doesn’t have a gun safety program for children, but it does have many great videos and lots of information for kids on its website. The site has a video about McGruff the Crime Dog and gun safety. Along with the video, the website features a teacher’s guide and safety pledge that children can take after watching. There is also a video directed at older children (grades 6-9) which focuses on how to stay safe around guns. The information on this site would be very useful for any teacher or school that wants to teach a lesson on the importance of gun safety.
All of these programs stress the importance of keeping firearms in gun safes so that they are out of the reach of children. It is the responsibility of every gun owner to make sure that they are properly caring for and storing their firearm.