Senior Gun Safety At Home
With gun safety and firearms protocol becoming more and more prevalent in the news, it’s no surprise that many associations are reiterating the importance of gun safety at home. Regardless of how you or we view the current gun control laws, it’s important that if you are a gun owner, you know how to properly handle and store a firearm at home. The U.S. General Accounting Office estimated that 31 percent of accidental deaths caused by firearms might be prevented by the addition of two devices: a child-proof safety lock and a loading indicator. Senior gun safety at home is important, so it’s important that you or your loved one consider the following tips.
Senior Gun Safety at Home
Although we don’t like to consider it, it’s possible that our loved one’s mental state just isn’t where it used to be. If that’s the case, your senior could possibly put himself or herself in jeopardy without intending to. Think about issues like competency, physical abilities to use the firearm, and why your loved one has the gun in his or her home. When volunteers or providers are coming into the home, this brings additional risk (and they may ask about guns in their intake process and have policies for their staff’s safety). If it’s your own home and firearm, you’ll probably want to take extra precautions when it comes to at-home safety.
Keep Things Locked Up and Unloaded
When it comes to senior gun safety at home, one of the most important things you can do to minimize danger is to install safes or lockboxes to store your firearms. While some owners may choose to keep their gun safe in the closet or under the bed, it is safest to install a hidden one whenever possible. A sturdy lockbox may also be adequate, though you must ensure that it is well hidden to protect your weapons from potential intruders.
The National Rifle Association notes that safe and proper gun storage includes using a secure locking device. Two of the most common mechanisms are trigger locks and cable locks - the former is affixed around the weapon's trigger to lock it in place, while the latter is a long steel cable that is looped through the action of the firearm to block its operation. Some feel like this might be a hindrance, especially if an intruder would happen to enter your senior’s home. However, it’s important to look at the statistics and see that you are much more likely to be injured or killed from an in-home accident than you are from an intruder.
Talk to Children and Grandchildren
For both children and adults, guns can be a matter of great curiosity. That's why any gun owner, but particularly those with children, should instill a mindset of safety and responsibility in all members of the family from the outset. While you might think that hiding firearms and pretending like they’re not there is the best course of action, that’s actually not the case. If you know that there will be children or grandchildren in the house, you want to explain to them the importance of gun safety and the dangers of a firearm. Senior gun safety at home is all about communication, so you need to clearly communicate with children so they know the importance of gun safety, and also lead by example by practicing gun safety yourself.
Make Sure the Right People Own the Guns
Another thing to consider when it comes to senior gun safety is that you should know exactly who is the owner of the gone, and more importantly, transfer ownership to someone responsible. Due to the complexities of the law and limitations on police, families and professionals may need to be creative with solutions. The Record of Firearm Transfer form can be used when a client is willing to transfer a gun, for example to a family member. If your loved one is apprehensive about transferring a firearm, make sure to sit down with them and explain the importance of gun safety.
If you have any other questions about gun safety, shoot us a question over on our FAQs page.