Children and guns: Tips for safe storage of firearms at home

Millions of homes with children have guns. In 2010, over 1,300 children died from gunshot wounds. That's down from previous years. ABC's 20/20 featured a special report, called 'Young Guns.' It opened a discussion about keeping a gun in the home and whether children can get their hands on it. We wanted to find out what you think and how to best protect children. We found all types of opinions about whether to have a gun in the home, how to secure it, and whether to let your children know you have it. We look at the steps you can take to help keep your child safe if you have firearms. "Make sure the weapon is unloaded," Scott McIntosh, Hoover Tactical Firearms said. "Keep the ammunition separate from the gun and always make sure they're locked."There's several ways to do that...{}"Every new gun you buy, if it's a handgun, {}it will come with some way to secure the weapon," McIntosh said. "If a child comes across it, they cannot fire the weapon."Both Mark's Outdoors and Hoover Tactical gave us advice on how.If you have one gun, a trigger lock or lock box {}will work. "You can't get to that trigger to set that firearm off," Russ Sockwell, head gunsmith at Mark's Outdoors said.If you have a collection, the pros recommend a vault."These are more of what we sell in this size, because they fit in everyone's home," Sockwell said."If you can't afford a safe, just somewhere the kids can't get to it," he said.We asked several parents if they keep guns at home and if so, where."There's no way I would have a gun in the house," Shirley Bramlett, a parent said. "We've got 6 kids at home and there's too many risk factors."{}"One of my friends was just cleaning his gun and it accidentally discharged in front of his four year old nephew and killed him," Kathryn Hamid, a parent said. "Just being around my son, he's super smart and can figure out things easily, so I try to keep him away from anything like that."We also asked our Facebook friends:Eva told us, "You educate your children that guns are not toys. They are dangerous if you don't know what you're doing."Sam said, "My boy's have been shooting since he was 3. Education and proper handling are the best ways.""I think that's where most of the problem comes from, is lack of education," Sockwell said.