40% of American households with children have guns. Every day at least 3 children die due to accidental firearms’ deaths. On the other hand, the second amendment does allow homeowners the right to bear arms and protect our property. The Supreme Court is now dealing with this exact issue; how do we protect our rights and balance our freedoms without harming our families. The issue specifically deals with the law banning guns in Washington DC, but the high court’s ruling-which is expected in June- could have far-reaching consequences in states like California.
Gun ownership is perceived to be a fundamental right here in the U.S. In fact, a recent CNN opinion poll revealed that 65% of Americans surveyed believed they had a right to own a gun. But along with ownership comes responsibility, and way too many guns are getting in the hands of children who are too young or untrained. This combination can lead to accidental deaths or personal injury. If it has lead to touch your life accidentally or intentionally, we want to here from you. A personal injury attorney will help you through your troubled times. But to my story of sensless injury read on.
Each year more than 16,000 children are injured with guns and since 1990, more than 5,000 kids have died. Many of these incidences are from kids finding guns in a drawer, in a closet or an unlocked gun cabinet in the home. Moreover, in 72% of unintentional deaths and injury cases the firearm was stored in the residence of the victim, relative or friend. The NRA has created a program to teach kids safety in and around guns. Their motto is: “If You See a Gun: Stop! Don’t Touch. Leave The Area. Tell An Adult.” Don’t trust that your child may learn this safety in their school. Talk to your kids about gun safety and never point a gun at anyone.
Common Sense about kids and guns, www.kidsandguns.org/ a safety organization that educates gun owners and children about safety tips has the following recommendations:
Parents who own a gun:
· Unload your gun and lock it up
· Lock and store ammunition separately
· Hide keys where children can’t find them
· Ask if guns are safely stored at places your children visit or plays
· Talk with your children about guns
· Teach young children not to touch guns, and to tell and adult if they find one
In addition, Project ChildSafe is a nationwide program that helps ensure safe and responsible firearm ownership and storage. You can search their website for California law enforcement links for a location near you that will give you a free gun ownership safety kit. Visit www.projectchildsafe.org/
Gun ownership varies from state to state, but in California, we have one of the lowest ownerships rates, only 21.3% of households. Only 5 other states have lower rates. However, Orange County does have the second highest registration of assault weapons here in California, next to Los Angeles County. Be aware that if you own a gun, in most cases you are responsible for its proper use. One rare case in 2003 held the gun maker liable for a Californian boy that was shot by his babysitter. However, the jury did spread liability around; gun maker, distributors, parents, etc.
The California Firearms Law of 2006 does protect homeowners from using guns for self defense purposes and to defend themselves from personal attack that would cause them bodily harm. It is your right to keep a gun, but for our kid’s sake, keep it locked and stored safely to avoid any potential personal injury.
One other really effective method of securing a gun is a trigger lock. It works on a combination that only you know. It prevents even a loaded firearm from accidental discharge. It can be unlocked in seconds allowing the protection function of the gun in the home and finally, cannot be broken off even with sledge hammers applied to it. It is a great way to protect your family, and also protect against stolen guns being used in later crimes.