Taking necessary steps to keep guns away from kids
TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Parents of the Oxford High School shooting suspect are accused of buying a gun for their son, keeping it in an unlocked drawer in the home, and ignoring signs that their son was troubled. Prosecutors say that gun was used to kill four students and injure seven others.
“Every time this happens, it paints gun owners with a broad brush,” says Steve Thompson, owner of ADCO Firearms in Sylvania.
He says the Oxford suspect’s parents do not typify all gun owners. There are many ways to keep guns safe from children, techniques his clients practice regularly. He says trigger locks and gun safes are the best way to keep small fingers away from weapons.
“Hiding them never works. Kids find Christmas presents, they’re going to find the guns,” he says.
There are resources available. Project Childsafe provides trigger locks and safety classes. The National Rifle Association program Eddie Eagle teaches small children how to recognize a gun and to get help if they find one.
Once kids grow older, Thompson recommends teaching them about the responsibilities of gun ownership but says to be on the lookout for warning signs.
“If someone is obviously having mental issues, that’s a giant clue to any parent that is paying attention, that I wouldn’t want him around steak knives,” he says. “If you have a kid that you think is going to have an issue with a kid accessing that firearm who isn’t mature enough, get it out of the house, suck it up.”
In Ohio and Michigan, minors are legally allowed to use guns for things like hunting or education, but only under adult supervision.
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