SIKESTON -- The fall hunting season is about to be in full swing. With this in mind, hunters and sportsmen need to be mindful of the safety issues when dealing with firearms in the home.
Some folks have firearms in the home for protection. The decision to maintain a firearm in the home for self-protection is a serious personal matter. Any added safety benefit gained from owning a firearm depends, in large measure, on the owners having appropriate training and clear understanding of safe handling and storage rules.
Factors such as individual temperament, reaction to emergency situations, specific family circumstances and support for your having a firearm in the home from other adults in the household must be considered.
If you feel the need for quick access to a loaded firearm in your home, you must take special safety measures. Keeping a firearm to defend your family makes no sense if that same firearm puts family members or visitors to your home at risk.
In keeping a firearm for home security, your objective should be to have the firearm readily available to you, yet not accessible to others. Special lockable cases that can be quickly opened by authorized individuals are options to consider.
You must exercise full control and supervision over a loaded firearm at all times. This means the firearm must be unloaded and placed in secure storage whenever you leave your home. Always secure ammunition separately. Fatal home firearm accidents can occur when children discover firearms that adults thought were safely hidden or out of reach.
Children should follow three basic rules:
1. Don't go looking for firearms in your house or a friend's house and don't let other kids look for firearms in your house.
2. If you find a firearm in your house or anywhere else leave it alone. Don't touch it! Don't let anyone else touch it! Tell an adult.
3. Even if a firearm looks like a toy, don't touch it! Some real firearms look like toys. Don't take a chance. Tell an adult.
Parents, teachers and sportsmen please talk to our children about firearms and safety in the home.
Accidents can be avoided if we educate our young people about the danger in handling firearms in an unsafe manner.
Remember, firearms don't kill; people do.