Town of Alton

Official Website of Alton, New Hampshire

Firearms - Safety and Tips for Adults/Kids

Most gunshot injuries happen after kids discover loaded guns at home. In the United States, there is great debate over how guns should be controlled. No one seems to agree on who should be allowed to own guns and under what conditions. But experts on all sides agree that keeping a gun in the house is a serious decision to make, and that the gun must be kept locked up where kids can't get to it.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says that the best way to prevent run-related injuries and deaths is to remove guns from homes. However, the decision to own a gun is up to each family. Your family may have decided to keep guns in the house. Some parents may hunt, for example, or they may be a Police Officer or work in another profession where guns are required. Some families use guns for protection. But any gun can be dangerous if a kid tries to play with it. Dr Michael J Harkness, a Pediatrician from Pennsylvania, says: "Gun safety comes in two parts: what the parents do and what the kids do. Parents need to lock their guns and ammunition separately, and hide the keys where children can't reach them. And kids need to understand that guns aren't toys and learn how to behave around them."

Gun Safety Tips for Kids:

If you come across a gun at your home, you may be tempted to check it out - but STOP!!

Follow these rules to keep yourself and others around you safe:


Eddie Eagle, a program sponsored by the National Rifle Association (NRA), teaches you what to do when you come across a gun. Find out what Eddie would do here:

Not touching the gun is VERY important, but don't forget to also leave the area and tell a grown-up. By leaving the area you can keep yourself safe in case someone else decides to touch the gun before an adult can remove it. Remember, a baby sister or brother may be strong enough to pull a trigger.

Being safe can keep kids, teens and even adults from getting hurt. Many times guns are fired by accident. All kids should know what to do if they find a gun or if they are with someone who finds a gun. Because whether you live in a big city, in the suburbs, a small town, or on a farm, it could happen.

Even though guns are featured in many television shows, video games, computer games and movies, it's important to know that real guns are DANGEROUS. Guns are so dangerous that they can hurt or even kill someone you know - including other kids. And, even though you've seen cartoon characters get up and walk around after being shot by a gun, it's important to remember that this could only happen on television or in video games.

A real gun is NEVER a toy, and life is not a video game. Real guns use bullets that hit actual targets. If that target is an animal or a person, the bullet can rip through skin, muscles, bones and organs, doing a lot of damage. A gunshot can permanently cripple someone or even kill. That's why you must NEVER play with a REAL gun. Even if you think you're safe, anything can happen once you put your finger on the trigger. Most kids in gun accidents later say they didn't fire the gun intending to hurt anyone, yet someone got badly hurt or killed. So never show a gun to a friend and NEVER, EVER point a gun at anyone - including yourself - even as a joke. You or your friend could end up in the hospital or worse. It's also never funny to say you have a gun or threaten to shoot someone. These words are taken seriously and the police may be called. These pranks don't end up being fun for anyone involved.

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