Parents play a key role in developing safe practices and are ultimately responsible for the behavior and safety of their children. Isolated lessons and concepts can quickly be forgotten but with repetition, children remember standard safety procedures. The goal of the Eddie Eagle GunSafe® program is to help you bring up an important safety issue with your child. It's not a complicated or confusing message, and it's easy and fun to teach. If children see a gun, they need to remember:
This first step is crucial. Stopping first allows your child the time he or she needs to remember the rest of the safety instructions.
A firearm that is not touched or disturbed is unlikely to fire and otherwise endanger your child or other people.
This removes the temptation to touch the firearm as well as the danger that another person may negligently cause it to fire.
Tell a Grown-up
Children should seek a trustworthy adult, neighbor, relative or teacher – if a parent or guardian is not available.
We encourage you as a responsible parent and citizen to reinforce these ideas by repeating this message and discussing it with your child. According to federal statistics, there are guns in approximately 40% of all U.S. households. Even if you do not have a firearm in your home, chances are that someone you know does. Your child could come in contact with a gun at a neighbor's house, when playing with friends, or under other circumstances outside of your control. We encourage you as a responsible parent and citizen today to...
Make sure all firearms cannot be reached by anyone who should not have access to them without your consent. Store guns so they are not accessible to unauthorized persons, especially children.
Keep ammunition securely stored where a child or any other unauthorized person cannot reach it.
Talk to your child about guns, and gun safety. By removing the mystery surrounding guns, your child will be far less curious about guns, and more likely to follow safety rules.
Make sure your child understands the difference between a toy gun and a real gun, and the difference between "pretend" and real life.
In a home where guns are kept, the degree of safety a child has rests squarely on the parents and gun owner.
NRA’s longstanding rule of gun storage is: store your guns so that they are inaccessible to any unauthorized users, especially children. NRA’s Eddie Eagle Program brochure, “A Parent’s Guide to Gun Safety,” has more information on how parents can keep their children safe, with additional resources available online at eddieeagle.nra.org.
Parents who accept the responsibility to learn, practice and teach gun safety rules will ensure their child's safety to a much greater extent than those who do not. Parental responsibility does not end, however, when the child leaves the home. That is why it is critical for your child to know what to do if he or she encounters a firearm. The Eddie Eagle GunSafe® program has no agenda other than accident prevention -- ensuring that children stay safe should they encounter a gun.
Have more questions about how to talk to your children about gun safety? Check out Parents FAQs