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How do you keep your children safe from your firearms?

Discussion in 'Education & Training' started by Visceral, Dec 9, 2008.

  1. Visceral

    Visceral Portland, OR Member

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    I've read a bunch of the threads here about how folks keep their kids safe by arming themselves to protect their family. I admire that and I appreciate it.

    That said, how do you make sure that your kids (or other's children) don't accidently discharge the firearms you keep at home?

    How do you balance your desire to have immediate access to the right gun with the uncanny abilities of a 11 year old boy to find or get into anything?

    The reason I ask is that my oldest son is turning 6 and is now is of an age that he might actually figure out keys/locks/powder/spark.

    My intention is that someday soon I teach him the real life consequences of playing with guns and how much respect they deserve, and I have no doubt this will augment my security... but I need some good ideas on how to have my cake and eat it too. Suggestions on how you have kept your young children out of your guns are very welcome. Putting everything in the safe seems like the only way right now... :(

    Thanks in advance... especially those who have raised boys and know what I'm dealing with :)
     
  2. PhysicsGuy

    PhysicsGuy Corvallis, OR Resident Science Nut

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    Well from what I've seen from other people, if you raise the kids around firearms and teach them resposibility, then they will be less curious.
     
  3. Visceral

    Visceral Portland, OR Member

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    I can only teach a 6 year old so much responsibility. I can not depend on a 6-year old knowing what to do if he figures out how to get into something. A 16-year old, maybe. But my analogy would be a drivers license. I know you can teach a 6 year old to drive an automatic, but I havent ever met a six year old that i would trust with a drivers license.

    The only thing I've got is that the guns and powder goes in one safe and the ammo goes in another. It sounds drastic, but I can not risk the safety of my kids. There has to be a better way.
     
  4. Visceral

    Visceral Portland, OR Member

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  5. Joe Link

    Joe Link Portland, OR Well-Known Member Staff Member Lifetime Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    Great thread idea.

    I don't have children, so I can't comment based on experience. Growing up, from age 5 I believe, I knew where both guns and ammo were and how to use them. I wish I could tell you how my parents and grandparents instilled such a fear in me, but I knew there would be no worse punishment than if I were to ever touch a gun, loaded or unloaded, without adult permission. I was also taught to respect the privacy of others and not go through drawers/closets/etc. unless they were mine. I can't remember being allowed in my parents room when they weren't in there as well. I think a lot of it comes from having a healthy respect for adults and knowing that my dad wouldn't hesitate to come home early from work and use the belt if I misbehaved :club:

    I'm 26 now, and when I have kids I'm going to try to do the same.
     
  6. Visceral

    Visceral Portland, OR Member

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    Well, in a few weeks, I'll take #1 to the rifle and pistol range. He already is somewhat iffy around fireworks, so a .45 and a .308 should scare him. He's a good kid, but he's also very intelligent for his age and his teachers complain that he spends a good portion of his energy testing his limits. We don't spare the spanking ;). He understands when we really mean something and what serious trouble is. He also knows that in the end, his parents always find out.

    All that being said, I still need to know that he will never have to be tested around a loaded weapon. Hollywood and the media is FULL of protagonists and superheroes only shooting bad guys with easy guns that barely make any noise. He needs to realize that TV is not reality, but you can't control a young mind. My current plan is the fingerprint safe in the bedroom with all clips and handguns. The big safe will stay in the basement bolted to the floor with all the powder and long guns.

    My current concern with that is the safe in the bedroom says "Steal me!" if Im not home, and its just over 100lbs. You can bolt it down, but its only into OSB...
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 9, 2008
  7. Joe Link

    Joe Link Portland, OR Well-Known Member Staff Member Lifetime Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    I think the fingerprint safe is a good idea.
     
  8. OFADAN

    OFADAN Brownsville, OR Well-Known Member

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    The only caveat about purchasing a "general home type" safe and not a safe specifically designed to store guns is...

    Most, but not all, home type safes found at Home Depot, Walmart etc are lined with harden concrete to add mass, to increase fire resistance and to reduce the likelyhood of someone by-passing the walls stealing your goods.

    The issue with concrete is it is manufactured using water and the water reacts with the powder cement creating a process known as "hydration." Hydration cause a chemical reaction which hardens the concrete. Concrete continues to cure long after it is in a harden state up to 50 years under certain conditons. When you lock up possessions inside a sealed or mostly-sealed vessel that is completely surrounded by a product that is hydrating (producing moisture in the air) then you potentially can rust then.

    The bottom line is read the product label before purchasing...many times they will specifically tell you not to place valuable metal objects into the safe. Other companies won't warn you at all. Find out what is the composition of the safe before you ruin a gun, rings, binocs or whatever.

    I've seen the results of the after-effects...and it isn't pretty!

    Generally I recommend people using a "dedicated" firearm safe for "firearms". There are plenty of small similar designs for about the same amout of $$$ that are all steel and no concrete.
     
  9. Visceral

    Visceral Portland, OR Member

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    Thats a really good point. I had no idea. I will do exactly that. Thanks Dan!
     
  10. Wallygator

    Wallygator Albany, OR Active Member

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    You could always put a handgun in one of the quick style safes : http://www.gunvault.com/home.nxg I don't use one, but have thought of getting one to have a loaded handgun right next to the bed. Its no rifle, but it will let you get to that rifle armed.
     
  11. Logical1

    Logical1 southeast portland, OR Member

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    Well....okay a subject I deal greatly in due to the fact that I like many of you have kids. I have two boys 9 and 7. the best thing to do is the (in my opinion of course) same thing my father a marine shooting instructor and a firearms safety zealot did. you teach and teach and repeat about the dangers of guns, what to do when you find one, and who to contact if that does happen out side of the house and in the house. they have to know guns kill that was thier design intent and they need to be respected and handled carefully, You cant depend on them much like the drivers license analogy above to do the right thing even though you have taught them everything you can, but at least as a parent or guardian you have given them repeated instruction on what not to do so that they have knowledge not curiosity. Oh ya and get them a cricket 22 single shot for thier 7th birthday....:D
    P.S I think that also if a child knows that there are incredible consquences for his negative actions and good behavior is rewarded that they usually are not interested in getting that negative stuff from dad, because it smarts.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2008
  12. Sun195

    Sun195 Pugetropolis, WA Well-Known Member

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    Some gun safes (AmSec BF Series) are also lined with concrete. However, this is some sort of special "dry" concrete and doesn't affect gun storage (or, at least, it hasn't mine).

    But, you're right - safes not designed for firearm storage can cause havoc with your guns.

    Edited to add: They're calling it "a proprietary DryLight insulation" now - they were calling it "concrete" when I bought mine.
     
  13. wavo

    wavo Portland Member

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    This is a great discussion.

    Growing up, my parents somehow instilled the fear of God in me. They spanked and disciplined us but they also gave us some freedom to be kids, but we knew the boundaries and if we ever crossed them there would be heck to pay. Did my parents have guns? Sure. Did I know where they were located? Not a clue. Because I knew better than to snoop around in anywhere other than my room and the common areas of the house, even as a very young child. It helped that even though I was fascinated by guns they scared me b/c they were loud. So when I went to my grandparent's house and there were rifles behind every door (this is rural Idaho) I would admire the guns but knew my buns would be toast if I touched them. Respect and boundaries do go a long way, but you should of course think about locking them up...etc.

    I think exposure is a good thing too, even at a young age b/c for most kids something that big and loud will scare them enough to respect it (at least in my experience it did) when you're exposed to it you're not as curious about it. At age 6 my dad got a cigar from a Halloween party. My sis and I were intrigued by it and we said we thought smoking was cool so my dad said "oh you wanna smoke this? C'mon it will be fun!" He lit it up and MADE us inhale and burn our tender lungs, we coughed, hacked and wretched, effectively killing any desire to ever smoke again. And to this day I am not a smoker, er....well except for a nice cigar with some whiskey....so maybe that's not the best example but you get my drift. :laugh:
     
  14. ron22250

    ron22250 Newberg Member

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    I think if there's guns in the house it shouldn't be a "mystery" to your kids. I raised my Daughter teaching her not to touch but she always saw them, and then later got to handle them after being taught basic safety. At 5-6yrs old she had her "very own" pistol (a non-functioning revolver) that she could reach into the safe and pull out whenever I was cleaning mine. We would sit for hours burning up patches (she would use a lot more than me !!) and each time we'd talk about being safe. "Safety first" was drilled into her head over and over. Removing the mystery removes the curiosity......
     
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  15. fingolfen

    fingolfen Oregon Member

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    I have a couple of quick access safes that I use... everything else is unloaded...

    ... and as most of it is C&R - multiple callibers that would be hard to mate to ammunition if you don't know what you're doing... :D
     
  16. Visceral

    Visceral Portland, OR Member

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    Thanks guys. These have all been fantastic posts and they have given me some paths forward that i can take with confidence. I'm still worried that they have the negative effect of the media on gun safety, but I can manage their exposure to that for the time being.

    I welcome any and all further discussion of this topic since I may not succeed in my first attempt... I may need some backup ideas :)
     
  17. BUZO71

    BUZO71 Emerald Valley, Oregon New Member

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    Gunvault for me.... then a gun safe for the rest of them that don't get used as much
     
  18. finch6013

    finch6013 Oregon City Active Member

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    6 years might be a little early but have him take a hunter safty class. My dad teaches them and he has kids of all ages. They all leave with knowledge of guns, hunting, outdoors and anything else they can draw from it. He has had many parents take their kids through the class multiple times over the years. Worked for me and it seems to work as an aid to your own teachings and safety in the home
     
  19. pdxjohann

    pdxjohann Portland near Tigard Member

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    Simple examples you all gave were instructive to me. Thank you all for sharing. Honestly, your comments are greatly appreciated as I have no childhood experience to draw upon.
    jc
     
  20. wakejoe

    wakejoe Beaverton, OR Well-Known Member

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    I won't ever hide my weapons from my son.