Gun Advice for your Clients
The gun debate continues. Proponents of the Second Amendment say their right to bear arms is one of the most fundamental of all of our civil liberties. Opponents argue that gun control, including limiting access to guns, is a public safety necessity.
Last year, about 1,500 children were killed by guns, with over 10,000 kids injured due to gun-related injuries. With nearly 200 million guns in the United States, this means that 1 in 3 homes with children have guns. Experts estimate that approximately 22 million children live in homes with guns.
Regardless of your stance on the issue, everyone can help keep our children safe from harm.
- Talk to your children about guns. If you are a gun carrying household, children (including your relatives and guests) should know the rules about guns in the home. Some children are taught to shoot and hunt. However, younger children are in grave danger if left unattended in homes where they have access to guns. Children are very smart, and often know where guns are kept even though their parents have gone to great lengths to secure their guns or hide them from the kids.
- If your children have never been exposed to real guns, make sure they know they should never touch any gun – even if they think it is a toy – and that they should immediately notify an adult. Even very young children may be capable of accidentally firing a gun at themselves or at others.
- Ammunition should be securely stored and out of reach of unauthorized persons, including children. Many parents choose to secure ammunition in secured cases.
- Remind children that even paintball guns and other non-powder guns such as pellet or BB guns are real guns and should never be pointed at anyone or touched without an adult present.
- Remind children before visiting any home, even that of a relative, of the importance of never touching guns and to tell you immediately if they see a gun, or if other children are playing with guns.
The American Academy of Pediatrics, AAP, has released a public statement that a gun-free home is the best way to protect children from gun injuries or death. The National Rifle Association, NRA, promotes gun safety through its Eddie Eagle program, a gun accident prevention program designed for preschool elementary school age children. Both organizations offer resources for parents of children in both gun carrying and non-gun carrying homes.
Agents should ask their clients whether or not they have guns. If so, agents should make sure there is adequate coverage under the Homeowners Policy for coverage such as theft, and Gun Liability for added protection against claims due to their gun use and ownership.