Many families keep a gun in the home. But guns are dangerous. They can hurt or even kill you or someone you know.
It is safest to stay away from guns. That means having no guns in your home and staying away from guns outside the home.
If You Have Guns in Your Home
If your parents keep guns in the home, you can talk to them about the dangers of guns. A gun at home makes it more likely that someone will be hurt or killed by a gun.
If your family decides to keep a gun in the home:
- The gun needs to be stored unloaded and locked up. The bullets must be locked up away from the gun. Only parents or responsible adults should know how to unlock the storage boxes.
- Never get the gun out unless a parent or another responsible adult is with you.
At a Friend's or Neighbor's House
Before you visit a friend or neighbor, your parents should check with your friend's parents to see if they own a gun. If they do have a gun, you can ask them to come to your house instead. Or your parents can talk to them to make sure the gun is stored safely.
If you see a gun somewhere:
- Stop what you're doing.
- Do not touch the gun, even if it looks like a toy.
- Leave the area where the gun is.
- Tell an adult right away.
If a friend wants to show you a gun, say "no" and leave or call your parent for a ride. Tell your parent right away what happened up. Don't worry about getting your friend into trouble — you will be helping to keep him or her safe.
If Someone Is Carrying a Gun
If someone tells you they have a gun or shows you a gun:
- Get away from the person quickly and quietly.
- Tell an adult you trust immediately. If you can't find a teacher, parent, coach, or other adult, call 911.
Don't feel that you're being a tattletale if you tell an adult that someone has a gun. Remember, you may save a life!
Staying Safe When Using a Gun
If you are allowed to use a gun for something like hunting or target practice, follow these rules:
- Never get the gun out when you are alone. Only use the gun with a parent or a responsible adult there.
- Always assume a gun is loaded.
- Never point a gun at someone, even if you think it is unloaded.
Top Things to Know
Guns are dangerous. Only cartoon characters get up and walk around after being shot by a gun. In real life, people are hurt or die if they're shot.
To keep yourself safe:
- Ask your parents not to keep guns in the home. If they do keep guns at home, they should be stored unloaded and locked up. Only parents and responsible adults should know how to unlock the storage boxes.
- Stay away from guns. If you see a gun somewhere, get away and tell an adult.
- Never play with a gun.
If your family uses guns for hunting or target practice, follow all safety rules. Never use the gun when you are alone and never point a gun at someone.
Reviewed by: Meghan T. Walls, PsyD
Date reviewed: April 2023