The importance of teaching your kids gun safety - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

The importance of teaching your kids gun safety

Posted: Updated:

CHATTANOOGA (WRCB)-- There are obvious ways to keep your children safe when you store guns in the home such as keeping them locked and removing bullets. But gun advocates say education is important too.

Mark Haskins told us first of all he by no means wants to point fingers in this case but hopes his safety tips will hit home for someone who has an unlocked gun at home and maybe down the road prevent a tragedy like this.

"Safety is number one. You treat every gun as if it's loaded," says Haskins.

Mark Haskins is a Chattanooga Police Officer but also a firearms instructor. He teaches Tennessee's handgun permit class and has a few ways of driving home the point of safety.

"Let's be honest, how many people here in the USA mess around with their parent's guns? And every class will have one or two hands and I usually say 'there are some liars in here',"says Haskins.

Haskins says gun owners need a plan and it starts with realizing kids are curious about guns. He says it's impossible to hide a gun or keep it out of reach.

"They find it, if they know it's there, they'll find em,"says Haskins.

But with a lock, a case or even a small safe, no one's getting to the gun without a key. And for those who worry about the reaction time, Haskins has an answer.

"If I put a lock on it, 20 to 30 seconds it takes to get it off. Well, let's balance. What's the reality of a home invasion verses the reality of your child finding the gun in the home? Your child's there 24/7," says Haskins.

Instructors give books to give parents on educate their kids. The idea is to teach kids about gun safety and "Eddie the Eagle" is spreading the word.

"If they find something and think it is a gun, stop, don't touch it and get an adult," says Haskins.

Haskins says unfortunately with children it's like teaching them to look before they cross a street. They don't always remember that lesson. There's no standing program in the schools about gun safety and in the State of Tennessee the handgun permit class is not a required course for a gun owner.

Powered by Frankly