MINOT AIR FORCE BASE - Tragedies involving unlocked firearms occur on a daily basis throughout the country. Statistics show firearm-related injuries peak in adolescence, nonetheless adult mishaps are just as likely to happen.
For those who choose to own firearms, they must be fully aware of the risks exposed not only to them, but to their family members as well.
One of the first rules in firearm safety is to know the purpose behind having a weapon at home and know how to act accordingly with regard to its accessibility. This means keeping weapons in a safe and secure place where only the owner has access to it.
Below are a few basic guidelines from the National Rifle Association and other sources to help keep firearms safe and away from unauthorized users:
1. Always remove ammunition from firearms and ensure ammunition is in a locked location, separate from the weapon.
2. When deciding where to store ammunition, remember to select a secure place that is out of sight and reach of children.
3. Secure unloaded firearms with a gunlock, gun alarm or other tamper-proof devices.
4. Store unloaded firearms in a lockable gun cabinet, safe, or locked vault. Remember to place the locked storage case where children can't find it.
5. Keep firearms storage unit keys away from the everyday keys.