Traverse City Record-Eagle

April 7, 2013

Gun safe talk

Traverse City Record-Eagle

---- — How do parents ask other parents if they have guns in their home, if they’re locked, unloaded and inaccessible to children?

Local gun safety advocate Missy Smith recommends that a gun-safe conversation be private between parents, out of the presence of children. It also should occur at least a couple of days before the play date or visit.

She suggests that parents start first with simple safety questions parents ask when discussing a play date or visit to another child’s house. Do you have a dog? Do you have a swimming pool? Does your child have an allergy?

Then, in the same casual, open and friendly tone, say something like,“By the way, do have guns in your home?” or “Can you tell me the status of guns in your home?” If they say yes, ask them to tell you more about how the guns are stored in the home.

“There are three things that make a gun a problem in the home: storage, accessibility, loaded and unlocked,” Smith said. “It’s a recipe for perfect disaster and so is having an older child who knows where the key is kept to locked guns and ammunition.”