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Gun safety is the topic of this installment in the Racine County Eye’s “Snapshots of Safety” series.

We have a preponderance of firearms in our community. There are big guns, little guns, and even guns that are real that look like fake guns. There are guns that you really can’t tell are guns unless you know it is a gun. It is important to know what you can do when you run across a gun and have a need to be safe. This “snapshot” is just to give you an idea of some of the things you can do when it comes to gun safety.

1. Gun safety training

First and most importantly, recognize that guns – when used or misused by someone without the proper training – have the potential to be a significant concern and safety risk in our community. I would primarily recommend a gun safety class. When you know the “how” and “why” of a gun, you can be confident that you are using it correctly and that you are minimizing the consequences of improper use. Gun safety classes are offered very often in our community. So, the number one thing is training.

2. Proper storage

The next thing that is just as important is the proper storage of a gun. There are a few good alternatives for this. There are safes, safes that are biometric so you can have quick access, there are hiding places that are totally unexpected, and there are gun locks.

The City of Racine Police will give you a gun lock, for free, just for the asking. You can also use the strong zip ties to secure the barrel and prevent the firearm from being able to discharge.

A gun with a “zip-tie-style” gun lock – Credit: RPD
gun safety
A gun with a gun lock – Credit: RPD

3. No youth access

Make sure that any youths in the house don’t have access to guns. We are finding that the youths of our community are possessing guns at an alarming rate. It is important that we make it extremely difficult for them to take illegal possession of a firearm.

If you store a gun in your car, lock the doors, keep the windows up, and properly secure and or conceal it. If it is visible from the window, there is a good probability that it will be stolen. If you are just storing it, the trunk is a better place.

4. Found a gun?

If you see a gun and it is not your own gun, call the police. Don’t pick it up. If you can put a barrier around it like a basket to temporarily secure it out of sight and reach of others, especially children, then do that. Remember: don’t pick it up. Handing a gun to a police officer is not a good idea. The officer does not know if you are a good person or intent on evil. Remember if you see a gun, call the police. They will be glad to take it off the streets.

snapshot of gun safety
Never touch a gun that you find if you can help it. Secure the area if you’re able and call the police. – Credit: Jens Lelie / Unsplash

If you do end up having to display or use your firearm, immediately call 911, then call your attorney, if you need to. Also, call your family and let them know what happened. These are just some of the things that are important to recognize when dealing with firearms; a snapshot of gun safety.

Henry Perez is a retired police officer and a certified United States Concealed Carry Firearms Instructor.

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