Experts advise how to safely keep guns inside a home - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Experts advise how to safely keep guns inside a home

(Source: WMC Action News 5) (Source: WMC Action News 5)

Experts say that gun safety starts with education. Parents should know how to keep their guns out of their unsupervised child's hands.

Five-year-old Ethan Hunt's father, Robert Hunt, is a war veteran and a gun enthusiast. Robert Hunt says he actively educates all three of his children about gun safety.

"Well, if a grown up is not around, don't touch the gun," said Ethan Hunt. "Don't put a bullet in it or don't fire it. I also know that you don't even want to touch a gun when no one is around, because you might get hurt."

Robert Hunt says that TV and movies glamorizes guns.

"Kids see from TV and movies and it looks fun," Hunt explained. "But what they don't see are the repercussions of what happens when they fire a gun."

Gun experts recommend that parents talk to their kids from a young age about the difference between a real gun and a toy, and tell them exactly what to do if they see a weapon.

"If you're talking to a kindergartner or somebody younger, you want to explain it to them," said Classic Arms gun store manager Chance Blasdale. "You know, stop, run away, get a grown up. Most importantly, don't touch it."

Experts say that if you own a gun, keep it out of reach from children. You can lock it, unloaded, in a gun case or safe, or run a cable lock or trigger lock through the weapon.

Anyone can get a free gun lock by going to their local police precinct.

An easy way to make sure your kids don't find a gun in the house-- store it up high in a hidden location that only adults know.

Gun owners need to be able to think about security and safety first and foremost, while still being able to reach their weapons in an emergency.

"Time is life," said one expert. "The faster you can access your gun, the better chances you are to surviving."

Even if you hide your guns well, experts say teaching a child the consequences of touching a weapon will have the most profound impact on their gun safety knowledge.

"It's important that children understand what guns can do," said Blasdale. "If you have to, you take them to the range or take them hunting or something like that, safe environment, to show them what guns can do.

Experts also warn parents against a common mistake; they should not hide guns under beds or behind doors.

Hidden camera experiment tests kids and knowledge about gun safety

In 2014, WMC Action News 5's Lauren Squires conducted a hidden camera investigation with several parents who volunteered to put their kids to the test. 

With the help of Covington Police Department and a participating day care, a fake gun was hidden among the toys. Hidden cameras were placed around the room so parents could see how their kids would react when they found the gun. Would they heed their parents warnings about the dangers of guns? Would they touch it? Pull the trigger?

What the kids did was shocking to the kids' parents, who then had to re-evaluate how they approached the topic of gun safety with their kids. 

We hope sharing this investigation with you can help you talk to your kids about gun safety and hopefully prevent other tragedies from happening in our community.

Click here to watch WMC Action News 5's hidden camera experiment.

Copyright 2015 WMC Action News 5. All rights reserved.
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