CHILDREN AND GUN SAFETY: WHEN SHOULD THEY START LEARNING ABOUT GUN SAFETY?
Earlier this week, a third grade student brought a handgun to Washington Elementary in Billings. Now, the superintendent said the student had no intention of causing any harm. He simply wanted to show his friends.
We spoke to a gun specialist to talk more about children and gun safety.
Wake Up Montana’s Briana Monte is holding a custom Sig P-320. A kind of handgun Andrew Stapleton, managing partner at Black Butte Range, said should be kept in a secured place such as a lock box or a safe. This is to protect yourself as well as others, especially children.
Stapleton said children tend to be very curious and they’re never too young to start learning about the safety of firearms.
“If the youth know about safety and firearms and how to safely operate firearms, the safe places to use a firearm- only at a range or a secured facility- I think that’s the other half of the battle that we’re missing because everybody wants to lock them up and secure them and hide them,” Stapleton explained. “But then it becomes a thing where they’re very interested in the secretive, the movie that mom never let you watch. You skip to your friends’ house and watch it as soon as you can.”
Stapleton said it’s not necessarily parents’ job to teach their kids about gun safety, but educating them could prevent disastrous outcomes.
“If you take a no firearm stance in your household, that’s your choice, but when you walk through Walmart, you’re going to walk past a case that has firearms in it or on a TV that has firearms in it,” Stapleton added. “I just think knowledge is power and that definitely needs to be used.”
So where can you go to teach kids about gun safety? You can visit a nearby shooting range such as Black Butte Range, where professionals can give the proper education about gun safety.