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My Child and my uncle's unsafe gun storage

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Donni'smomma, Feb 26, 2013.

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  1. Donni'smomma

    Donni'smomma Member

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    Hi I am a single mom of a very curious 4 yr old. we just recently moved to South Carolina from California to get a new start in life. We moved in with my aunt and uncle who are gun lovers as am i. I have discussed with my uncle teaching me and my son gun safety and how to shoot because 1( we need to know 2( they are in the house unlocked and loaded 3( So my son's curiosity doesn't get someone hurt.

    My biggest problem is i guess is They don't want to lock up and unload their guns which is their right, but they also don't want to take the time to teach my son what he needs to know to be living in a house with them.

    My son has yet to go in their room but that wont last forever.

    Any advise??? PLEASE
     
  2. beatledog7

    beatledog7 Member

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    Can you teach your son yourself? If you're a gun lover then surely you must know basic safety.

    If your son is not going to be taught, and the guns are not going to be made safe, move out.
     
  3. docnyt

    docnyt Member

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    That's a touchy issue. Do you know basic gun safety and how to shoot? Maybe you can at least get your son started. If your relatives will let you borrow an unloaded gun just to familiarize your son maybe that would make a good start. I can't imagine why they won't take you out to shoot but that's a private matter I guess.
     
  4. Dave P

    Dave P Member

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    "They don't want to lock up and unload their guns which is their right,"

    No, that is not a right, maybe a privilege. It most likely is against the law, to keep firearms un-secured with children in the house.

    For pistols, there are lots of quick access lock boxes available.
     
  5. Outlaw Man

    Outlaw Man Member

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    Welcome aboard.

    I understand your fears, and they are reasonable. I have always thought that demystifying (ending their curiosity) is one of the best aspects of gun safety for children. Of course, they need to be properly secured, to YOUR satisfaction.

    Check out http://www.corneredcat.com for some good articles both for you, as a mom with guns, and for your children. Also consider an Eddie Eagle course from the NRA.
     
  6. Fremmer

    Fremmer Member

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    She's right, it is their right to keep guns in their house the way they see fit.

    You're going to have to teach the child to stay out of their room and to not touch their guns. Use the NRA Eddie eagle program.
     
  7. DAP90

    DAP90 Member

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    If they won’t take the time to teach him you should find a way to do it yourself. If you don’t have the knowledge personally than a class or private instructor is the way to go. As the father of a 5 year old boy I understand and think you are right to be concerned.

    Understand though, even with instruction this can still be a dangerous situation for your son depending on how well he takes to the class and his level of curiosity and maturity.

    I don't know where you are in South Carolina but this company operates in Columbia I think. I don't know anything about their reputation but they or someone like them will operate in your area.

    http://paladin.busman.com/safety/eddie-eagle/parents-guide.htm
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2013
  8. 95XL883

    95XL883 Member

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    Calmly and firmly stress to your child that guns are not to be pointed at anybody, he is not to touch guns unless you are present, when he does touch a gun that his finger stays off the trigger until he is ready to shoot and ask him if he would like to see and/or shoot a gun. If he says yes to the latter, find time soon, very soon, to show him an unloaded firearm. Let him handle it but instruct him how to safely do so. If he wants to shoot it, get him to a range or place where he can safely shoot. Ideally take something like a bottle of water (an old milk jug works great) so he can see what happens. Point out that you don't want that happening to him or anyone else. Tell him he is not to mention any guns in the house with friends/playmates because they will likely want to see the guns and their mommy and/or daddy or another responsible adult should show them, not him.

    You are going to have to keep a very close eye on him whenever he is in that house. If your aunt and uncle won't keep their guns unloaded or secures, you should consider finding your own space as soon as possible. Maybe it is the way you are asking? I'm sure they love their nephew and don't want anybody hurt. Maybe ask their suggestions for how to make the situation safe for everybody? Maybe your aunt and uncle will keep the guns in their room with the door locked? Would they keep the guns in a locked cabinet? I'm a little mystified by their reluctance to secure their firearms, especially with a child in the house. Heck, the youngest child in my house is 14 and all guns and/or ammunition is secured unless it is on my person or we are going to the farm or range.

    HTH. Good luck.
     
  9. Donni'smomma

    Donni'smomma Member

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    I have only been taken out to shoot twice in my life all when i was much much younger. First time with my uncle im living with now. I don't know the ins and outs of a gun well enough to be teaching anyone beyond basics which i have started with him. my fear is he has never seen a real one or the damage it can do so all the safety lessons and the need for them wont really sink in until then. I have started looking into classes, and researching online but without a real gun which im not comfortable owning until i know more. i don't know what else to do.
     
  10. mcdonl

    mcdonl Member

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    Can we get some more details regarding the storage of the guns?

    For instance, in my house my carry gun is always loaded WHEN I AM HOME and it is either on my person, on the coffee table or in the nightstand when I sleep. At all times I am in sight of it.

    When I leave and do not bring the gun, I unload it and secure it in my gun cabinet. All of my ammo is in a locked job box. I repeat the cycle when I get home.

    M kids are teens now but I have always done this. And I have always taught safe gun ownership, handling and usage.

    So, depending on how your uncle handles things it may not be as dangerous a situation as the cover of the book may indicate.


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  11. JustinJ

    JustinJ Member

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    There is no level of teaching that will allow a four year old to safely handle a firearm, escpecially loaded, without direct adult supervision. If your uncle does not have enough sense to not leave loaded guns where a four year old can get to them you need to move out asap.
     
  12. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    Another issue to remember is when your son's friends come to play.
     
  13. ATBackPackin

    ATBackPackin Member

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    A child, unless there is some mental illness, will only burn themselves once by touching a hot stove. Using a chicken or ham as target practice can be a powerful demonstration what guns can do.

    If they are not willing to teach him, then you need to find a way to do it yourself. It is a fantastic bonding experience.

    Remember there are no dumb questions.

    Shawn
     
  14. Centurian22

    Centurian22 Member

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    Another vote for teaching him yourself and using the NRA Eddie Eagle program.
    http://www.nra.org/Article.aspx?id=1353

    Also +1 to AT's post above. When I was 4-5 years old my father used a 2 liter coke bottle filled with water, shot with a 12 gauge, from about 8-10 feet with small bird shot. He had me put my hand behind his shoulder to feel the recoil, we got soaking wet (so it seemed at the time) and the largest piece of the bottle left we could find was the cap and about 1-2inches of the top. This was all the 'teaching' I ever needed about "Do Not Touch, pick up, or play with guns EVER! (without a parent)" I was also allowed to see and handle any firearms that I wanted as long as I asked. Been field stripping 1911's since I was about 8. Good luck with your son and family.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2013
  15. Donni'smomma

    Donni'smomma Member

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    They are kept in the night stand under the bed and in the closet, safetys on if they have them and all loaded ready for an intruder. I have talked with my uncle about at the very least unloading them but he doesn't want to take the risk of forgetting its unloaded when there is a need to use it.
     
  16. Donni'smomma

    Donni'smomma Member

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    Thank you all for the links! and advice very good information and ideas.
     
  17. Reloadron
    • Contributing Member

    Reloadron Contributing Member

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    I see where you are in a difficult situation. Their house and their rules apply unfortunately. The fact I would see things differently as to storing guns with a small curious child around is here nor there.

    Mom, you will need to work the best you can to impress on your child the guns are not toys and are in fact dangerous. You should not need a working in depth knowledge of firearms safety to impress on a four year old that guns are dangerous just as shoving a knife blade in a wall outlet is dangerous.

    While state laws may apply as to proper gun storage when a child is present the bottom line is you are under their roof. The ultimate responsibility for your child's well being and safety remains with you. That includes constant supervision as difficult as I know that can be. Based on your initial post my guess is that you and the child are going through a difficult time and a time of change you likely could have never dreamed of. My advice is start simple when it comes to a gun, the dangers of a gun and what a four year old can comprehend. All four year old children are curious and inquisitive.

    I wish you the best when it comes to a new start for you and your child and adjusting to change. Also, welcome to the forums!

    Ron
     
  18. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    Your uncle is being absurd. The chances of an accidental discharge, especially with a preschooler in the house, are WAY higher than the chances of a confrontation. His strategy is the equivalent of starting a fire in the middle of the living room because he fears hypothermia.

    The following is not legal advice: Many states have affirmative requirements to keep guns locked or unloaded in a house with children. Even where there are no such laws, if a child injures him/herself - and this includes playmates who come over to visit - with a loaded, unsecured gun, then the civil liability will probably be ruinous, not to mention living with yourself afterward.

    To the extent you are forced to rely on training your child to keep himself safe, remember that he is FOUR YEARS OLD. You will have to CONSTANTLY reinforce the issue. Don't have one serious conversation and consider the issue "solved." Stay on it.

    And lean on your uncle some more.
     
  19. DAP90

    DAP90 Member

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    Let me just add I think 4 is too young to be actually shooting a firearm or handling one outside of direct supervision. I go over safety with my son and have since he was 3 using the Eddie Eagle rules:
    If you find a gun:
    STOP!
    Don't Touch.
    Leave the Area.
    Tell an Adult.
    Under my supervision I let him handle my firearms whenever he asks to; trying to demystify them. He doesn’t ask unless I have them out for something else and not always then.

    I haven’t taken him shooting yet. He has been around when we were shooting clays at the farm under the watchful eyes of his mother and grandmother. I would not trust him to handle a loaded gun even under supervision. I would also never leave a firearm unsecured for him to find under any circumstances.
     
  20. Al Thompson

    Al Thompson Moderator Emeritus

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    Best line I've heard about loaded guns was from Charles Askins via Mas Ayoob - "treat'em like a pet rattlesnake".

    Agree with others that the NRA Eddie Eagle method is best - "Stop, don't touch, leave the area and tell an adult".
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2013
  21. gc70

    gc70 Member

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    Unusual scenario. Gun owners are responsible for their guns and parents are responsible for their children; neither should expect someone else to shoulder their responsibility. Safety classes and shooting opportunities are readily available in South Carolina.
     
  22. BSA1

    BSA1 Member

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    Your post is unclear as to the type of firearms that are accessible to your son and how they are exactly loaded. A semi-auto handgun stored with hammer down on a empty chamber presents a different level of risk than a loaded, cocked and locked 1911.

    Since apparently your son has not been taught gun safety he needs a trip to the shooting range. I always had (and still have) loaded guns in our house when raising our kids. One of the first thing I did with them was to take them out and shoot a milk jugs full of water to impress on them the power of a gun.

    As others have already said your son is old enough for the NRA Eddie Eagle Program.
     
  23. VegasAR15

    VegasAR15 Member

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    I have a four year old. She knows not to touch my guns, she knows they are not toys, she knows they are dangerous, she even has a .22 rifle of her own, guns are sometimes left out when I am doing stuff with them(with ammo no where close) and she does not touch them. All that being said, I would never leave a loaded gun out anywhere that she could get to it. The only loaded guns in my house are my home defense gun and my carry gun and when not on me they are always kept in a locked Ft. Knox pistil safe.

    Since I have a four year old also, I know I don't need to tell you they aren't always the best at listening. Even my one year old tries to sneak around to do stuff she knows that she isn't supposed to. It isn't worth the risk.

    There is nothing wrong with leaving guns loaded, but they must be kept safe if there are kids in the house. I use the original Ft. Knox pistol safe. It was pricey, but I consider it to be the best. Here is a link to all of their small safes including one for a shotgun. https://www.ftknox.com/store/index.php?route=product/category&path=59 There are others for cheaper, this is just the only one that I can recommend.
     
  24. mcdonl

    mcdonl Member

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    Mom, it looks like they are all stored in your uncles bedroom. Perhaps an easy lock on the door up high would solve the problem. Just teach your son that he needs to respect your uncles privacy, and stay out of his room.

    Then deal with firearms safety as a separate topic with out the fear of accessing the guns. That ma be an easier pill to swallow.

    Also, convince your uncle how great you think it is that he his guns to protect all of you and ask what HE thinks would be the best way to protect his guns, from your child.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  25. CoRoMo

    CoRoMo Member

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    Eddie Eagle... let him watch this as many times as he wishes: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wIEBrb_wRYc My kids have watched it countless times and enjoy watching it over and over. It's a start, but you'll need to set him down and seriously converse with him about the subject.
    I would like to see this cited in Carolinian law because it would be unhelpful for the OP to repeat that statement if it were not so. As irresponsible as the conduct may be, if it isn't illegal, let's not say it could be.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2013
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