National ASK Day encourages parents to ask about firearms in the home before sleepovers, playdates

June 21 is the first day of summer, it's also National ASK Day, meant to remind parents to ask a tough and sometimes uncomfortable question before letting their children visit family and friends' homes. 

That question, are there firearms in the home, and if so are they safely secured?

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In 2023 alone, Harris County has had several incidents where a child got ahold of a firearm and ultimately injured or killed another child as a result. 

"It's devastating, it's devastating for everybody involved," said Major John Nanny, with the Harris County Sheriff's Office

Nanny says as the summer officially starts, this is a Public Service Announcement every parent and guardian needs to hear. 

"Before a parent allows a child to go and spend the night at somebody's house for the summer for the weekend, we would definitely like to encourage them to ask the parents or adults in the other household if they have any firearms, how do they lock them up," he said. 

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According to Brady United Against Gun Violence, a non-profit organization focused on ending gun violence, eight children a day are unintentionally injured or killed by what's called "family fire", family fire refers to a shooting caused by someone having access to a gun in the home when they shouldn't. 

"That uncomfortable conversation for maybe 2 minutes is a lot better than the alternative," said Colleen Creighton, Director of the program end family fire w/ Brady. 

She says family fire is something that could be prevented if parents just start asking questions about guns in the home beforehand. 

"The parents would have that conversation and maybe the parent can say 'I really don't want to have this conversation with you, I don't want to tell you if I have a gun in the home,'" Creighton said. "Well, that's up to the parent then to make the next determination to either take their child or to educate their child on gun safety if they still want to have the play date."


Nanny also reminds the public that anytime there are children in a home, guns should be locked away, simply hiding them is not enough. 

For more information and examples of ways you can start the conversation about guns in the home, click here.