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  • Handguns in the home

    Hi,
    I saw the news about a 13 year-old boy found dead from a shooting death in the home of a Maryland Police Officer yesterday.The weapon was a semiautomatic handgun that was kept in the home by the Officer.The Officer owned several handguns.The boy was home with other children ages 4,5 and 8.
    The news report stated that is was either accidental or suicide.
    I cannot even imagine what the Officer is going through right now.
    I do not own any handguns,so I do not know how handguns(personal protection,hunting,ect.)are secured in the home of the ones that own them.
    My questions are;
    1.If you have children,do they know where it is kept in the home?
    2.If your children know that you have handguns,were they taught about safety by you or an N.R.A. class?
    3.Do you use gun locks on all handguns?

    Thank-you.

  • #2

    Tough issue; no doubt! If you have a gun in your home, you want it to be 'instantly accessible' by you - while safe from the hands of a curious youngster.

    You're going to get a lot of replies to this topic, I am sure.



    The comments above reflect my personal opinion as a private citizen, ordinary motorist and all-around good guy.

    The aforementioned advice should not be construed to represent any type of professional opinion, legal counsel or other type of instruction with regard to traffic laws, judicial proceedings or official agency policy.

    ------------------------------------------------

    "Ignorance on fire is hotter than knowledge on ice."

    Comment


    • #3
      I am no longer in patrol, in my unit I do not carry now(nor do I have children, but I do have a neice and a nephew that are always over)....but when I was in patrol I locked the service weapon up. I had a gun locker, nothing big, it fit 2 glocks in it and it stored in the nightstand draw. You needed a combination to access it, I would never think of leaving my weapon out, but that is just me. I am 28 now and got out of the academy at 19, so at every age an officer SHOULD know to keep firearms locked up.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by VA Dutch

        Tough issue; no doubt! If you have a gun in your home, you want it to be 'instantly accessible' by you - while safe from the hands of a curious youngster.



        You're going to get a lot of replies to this topic, I am sure.


        Hi VA Dutch,thank-you for the response.Yes your handgun should be ready for instant access yet unaccessible to children.A hard thing to do.
        Here is a link to the article;
        press release of article.

        Comment


        • #5
          Grew up with guns in my house and was taught as far back as I remember they are not a toy and don't touch/play with. They were always loaded also.

          I have several now myself and also a almost 3yo boy. All are unloaded( clip not in). I keep the guns and clips seperate and they are out of reach of him for now. When the time comes I will teach him just as I was taught but will also have a gun lock when he is able to get to them that is easily removed in case I need to access the gun. In Maryland,your guns must be secured to keep kids safe. People do get charged here when there is a shooting. I'd guess the officer will not be charged as his suffering is plenty enough IMO.
          Leave Space Empty

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          • #6
            Originally posted by bloodhound
            Hi,
            1.If you have children,do they know where it is kept in the home?
            2.If your children know that you have handguns,were they taught about safety by you or an N.R.A. class?
            3.Do you use gun locks on all handguns?
            I have no children in the house, but I have 3 youth cousins (15 y/o M, 14 y/o M and 13 y/o F) that come over on the weekends. So, while there is no child here 24/7, there are children in my home. So take this for that you will.

            1. The kids know there are guns in the home, they know where they are, but they can not get to them, they don't know the combination to my handgun safe, or have the key to the cable lock around my shotgun.

            2. I did not want the issue of guns to be a taboo that caused them to become curious and go looking for them, so when they asked about my guns, I went in my room, got the P226, made it safe and walked it out into the living room and explained to them what each button/lever did BEFORE handing them the firearm. Then I asked them a couple questions about my gun to see if they were paying attention to what I was telling them. Then I field stripped it, and showed them each piece, what it did, the theory behind they operation of a pistol and the purpose for each piece. Then I put the gun back together and let them handle it and when I handed them the gun and they grabbed it and instinctively put their finger on the trigger (because they all did it, thanks Hollywood), I explained to them how completely unsafe that was and why it was not the right thing to do. Most of what I was telling them was simply in response to their questions, but I still made sure that if they didn't ask, I explained it anyway. So I made sure it wasn't like lecture hour.

            3. The only thing I lock up my P226 with is the electronic safe it sits in. When it's in there, it's loaded with one in the chamber. The 12 guage has a cable lock through the action.

            The bottom line is if you take the mystery out of it, they will be less apt to go looking for it. They know what they're for, they know they aren't toys and I have never caught one of them looking for it.
            A true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.

            -GK Chesterton

            Comment


            • #7
              Well stated, Contact. Bravo Zulu to you!!

              The comments above reflect my personal opinion as a private citizen, ordinary motorist and all-around good guy.

              The aforementioned advice should not be construed to represent any type of professional opinion, legal counsel or other type of instruction with regard to traffic laws, judicial proceedings or official agency policy.

              ------------------------------------------------

              "Ignorance on fire is hotter than knowledge on ice."

              Comment


              • #8
                Currently I only have 4 guns in the house. I have a 10 yo daughter that knows where they all are, and how they all work. I have one on my duty belt, at all times ready to go. I have one in a safe, that the battery died on, and the ex took the key, so it is worthless. I also have one under my pillow ready to roll. Then there is my daughters .22 rifle in the closet, unloaded.

                My daughter was less than 6 months old the first time she went hunting, right around 2 yo the first time she fired a gun, with help. And this year she learned how to plunk a steel target with the .22 rifle.

                I have NEVER allowed a "TOY" gun in our home, as I don't believe there is such a thing. She has respect for guns, and has been through a few safety courses, and needs to go to the hunting safety course this year.

                As far as other kids coming to my house, I don't allow that!
                When I'll be the girl that you love, you'll be the boy that I hate...

                Comment


                • #9
                  Every weapon I own is fully loaded ready to fire in my home. I have a 5 year old daughter and a 20 month old daughter. Yes they are aware of daddy's guns and where they are. They do not even go near them. But...they are all also locked in a secure gun safe with only my access. Now my duty weapon remains the same way. the only difference is it is kept on tp ot the safe in what is called a life jacket and I have the only key.
                  Gods Speed

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by bloodhound
                    1.If you have children,do they know where it is kept in the home?
                    I don't have children, but they should.

                    Originally posted by bloodhound
                    2.If your children know that you have handguns,were they taught about safety by you or an N.R.A. class?
                    I don't have children, but they would.

                    Originally posted by bloodhound
                    3.Do you use gun locks on all handguns?
                    I don't have children, but I would keep my weapons in a safe secure location like a gun cabnit or locker.

                    I think fear and ignorance are the culprits behind accidental shootings among children. From a young age I was taught to fear and respect firearms, and- knock wood- that's kept me from shooting myself.
                    You have no right to not be offended.-Neal Boortz

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Law in this state is if you have any children under the age of 14 in the house, any firearms you have must be locked up, or made safe with a trigger lock or such.

                      My kids know all about my guns, have handled them, fired them, and know of the consequences of their misuse. Of course, they aren't kids anymore(24 and 17), but I still keep my guns locked up or hidden. Never know who else may come into the house and know of their presence. One of the worst robbery/murder cases we have ever had here in the state was done with a legally owned handgun that was lifted by this little puke who was with some friends, visiting the home of some friends of the friend in Washington state.
                      Never make a drummer mad- we beat things for a living!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I grew up with a rifle in the house and my dad was a Vietnam vet. I was taught that all guns are always loaded and you don't even point a cap gun at the dog because it breeds bad habits(and a sore rear if caught.) That advice has stuck with me to this day. My daughter is 3.5 and we have talked about the guns but she doesn't have access to them. They are locked up in my huge gun safe and only my wife, mother and I have the combo.
                        "Respect for religion must be reestablished. Public debt should be reduced. The arrogance of public officials must be curtailed. Assistance to foreign lands must be stopped or we shall bankrupt ourselves. The people should be forced to work and not depend on government for subsistence." - Cicero, 60 B.C.

                        For California police academy notes go to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CABasicPolice/

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I would like to thank all of you again for the posts.They are all very good posts.



                          Originally posted by Centurion44
                          I don't have children, but I would keep my weapons in a safe secure location like a gun cabnit or locker.
                          I thank-you for this post.It is a very good one.Even though you do not have children,you answered the questions as if you did have them.So much respect for what you posted.


                          Originally posted by Centurion44
                          From a young age I was taught to fear and respect firearms, and- knock wood- that's kept me from shooting myself.
                          Good thing for that...we need you around.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Several years ago, the television program "20/20" did an episode on kids and guns. They conducted an experiment that has stayed with me since I first saw it. They placed several children in a room. In the room, was a hidden and unloaded pistol. All of these kids had been taught by their parents that guns were dangerous and to never touch one. Nearly ALL of the kids, when they found the gun, began to play with it, pulling the trigger and pretending to shoot or be shot. In my opinion, teaching kids gun safety is important... but not nearly as important as keeping weapons COMPLETELY out of their reach. A hidden gun is not a safe gun. An unloaded gun is not a safe gun, as curious kids can stumble across the magazine that goes with it. The ONLY way I feel comfortable having a gun in my house, when children are present, is to unload it and lock it up. I also beleive that the chances of a child finding it and using it, are far greater than me needing to access it quickly. Again, these are only my thoughts, and others may disagree.
                            "Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body; but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, 'Wow! What a Ride!'"

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              That's terrible and happens all too frequently.
                              I had neighbors who lost a son because they where playing with a gun and one of the kids took the clip out thinking it was empty and shot his best friend to death.
                              I got a nephew who shoot out the TV thinking the gun was empty after he took out the clip.
                              And I have a brother-in-law who shot himself in the hand when he was younger under the same circumstances.

                              I've got a number of rambuctious grandsons who are probally hard headed enough to play with a gun if they could find it so I just don't keep any hand guns in the house(period)

                              I'm a fair marksman with a rifle but couldn't hit the side of a barn taped to the end of the barrel with a hand gun anyway. Plus I'm fortunate enough to live in an area where it is rare for police to take more than 5 to 7 minutes to respond to 911.
                              Diplomacy is the art of letting someone else get your way.
                              The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

                              Through our scientific and technological genius, we have made of this world a neighborhood and yet we have not had the ethical commitment to make of it a brotherhood.

                              Comment

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