What will you tell your kids about guns and open carry?

We’ve focused a lot about guns in the home and kids safety, but what happens when the guns are now out in public? Does this change the conversation you have with your children?

I’ll be talking to some experts in the coming days.

Two women compare handgun holsters during an open carry rally at the Texas State Capitol in Austin, Texas. On January 1, 2016, the open carry law took effect in Texas, and 2nd Amendment activists held an open carry rally at the Texas state capitol on January 1, 2016 in Austin, Texas. Erich Schlegel/Getty Images
Two women compare handgun holsters during an open carry rally at the Texas State Capitol. The open carry law took effect in Texas on Jan. 1. Erich Schlegel/Getty Images

 

Here’s what the National Rifle Association suggests parents should tell kids to do when they see a gun.

STOP!

This first step is crucial. Stopping first allows your child the time he or she needs to remember the rest of the safety instructions.

Don’t Touch

A firearm that is not touched or disturbed is unlikely to fire and otherwise endanger your child or other people.

Run Away

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.

The NRA also gives parents these tips:

  • 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.

I wrote a previous story about what questions you should ask about guns in the home of family members and play dates. Read that here:

All of this feels different than what happens when you’re out in public and the gun is around the waist of someone who isn’t a uniformed police officer or soldier.

What are you telling your kids about open carry?

 

 

 

Author: Nicole Villalpando

Nicole Villalpando writes about families in the Raising Austin blog and the Raising Austin column on Saturdays. She also offers a weekly and monthly family calendar at austin360.com/raisingaustin. She tweets at @raisingaustin.

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