Experts weigh in on locking, securing guns at home

- After two young children accidentally shot themselves within one week, law enforcement is stressing the importance of securing your weapons at home to prevent children from accessing them. 

Eric Childress, the retail manager at Boyert Shooting Center, grew up in a household with guns and currently has a gun in his home. He said educating children about firearm safety lets them know just how dangerous guns can be.

"Assume that every firearm is loaded," said Childress. "Keep a finger off the trigger at all times. Always being aware of your surroundings — in front of you, behind, left or right. And don't point anything at a target unless you plan on destroying it."

Whether it's a locked safe for your handgun or a Mag Well lock for your rifle, Childress said there are multiple options available at Boyert Shooting Center that are designed to keep guns stored away safely from kids.

Although keeping the weapon, that is meant to protect you, locked away and hidden, may make accessing them during an emergency more difficult, it could mean the difference between life and death. Just like any emergency situation, practice makes perfect.

"Practice that 1,2,3,6,7 combination or able to know that, hey, I can do that without even looking and grab my firearm and deploy it effectively," said Childress.

Various gun locks and safes can range anywhere in price from $20 to $250.

If any of these items seems out of your price range, authorities said gun owners can contact local law enforcement agencies or the Texas Department of Public Safety for free gun locks and training.

"We have those locks as well, so there's no excuse," said Texas DPS Sergeant Stephen Woodard. "We can't lose another life this year, furthermore, anytime because of something that's just careless."
 
According to the Children's Firearms Safety Alliance, in the month of June alone, 29 kids unintentionally shot themselves or another person. Five of those 29 were toddlers.
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