When I moved in with Dave and the kids, my guns didn’t come with me. That’s not always an option, so if you have guns in the home, please please please store them safely. – Shadra

Getting Real with Shadra Bruce

In my 20s, I went shooting almost every weekend and had quite an awesome collection of guns. I had everything from a Colt .45 revolver to a .22-270 gun suitable for hunting bear. I had a 12-gauge shot gun, a collectible handmade 9MM, and the cutest little 22 pistol ever. The only living things I ever shot were jackrabbits and whistle pigs, but mostly I shot at tin cans. I grew up in a family of hunters. My grandpa hunted pheasant and quail. My uncle was such an avid hunter that he was on the cover a magazine with a Big Horn Sheep he’d taken. My dad hunted. I was a good shot, and I even learned how to reload my own ammo.

Then I met Dave, and when I moved in with him, I simply did not feel that my 13 guns had any place in the home, even if I did store them safely. I don’t think everyone needs to get rid of all of their guns if they have kids, but I do think anyone who owns guns needs to store them safely.

The safe storage of weapons in the home is a huge responsibility for any gun owner.

  1. DO NOT keep your weapons loaded if they are in your home. Weapons should only have ammo in them when they’re being used, while hunting or at a shooting range.
  2. Whenever you’re showing someone a gun, even if you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that it is not loaded, check anyway. And never play with pulling the trigger or pointing a gun at someone.
  3. Lock up your guns. Put rifles and shotguns in a locking safe (not just a pretty gun cabinet that can be unlocked with a butter knife but a REAL gun safe). Lock handguns in fireproof lockboxes.
  4. Keep the ammunition locked up and in a separate location than the guns.
  5. Install trigger locks on all of your guns so that only you can fire them.
  6. Take a gun safety course if you have not – even if you think you know everything about guns because you’ve been around them hour whole life.
  7. Teach your kids about gun safety and make sure they take gun safety courses before handling weapons.
  8. Do not assume that your kids’ friends’ parents treat guns safely just because you do. Teach your kids that it’s ok to leave a home if the guns are not stored safely or if their friend thinks guns are to play with.
  9. Guns are not good self-defense or home-defense tools. Invest in an alarm system.
  10. Clean your guns regularly and care for them carefully to prevent misfires.

Yes, I want an assault rifle ban.  And yes, I am scared to send my kids to school in our current no-gun-control climate. And no, I don’t own guns anymore. But I appreciate the sport of shooting and the thrill of the hunt, and I don’t have a problem with people having guns. But I do believe if every gun owner were to follow these 10 gun safety rules that we could have an impact on the amount of gun accidents and gun safety issues we have in this country.