OWN IT, RESPECT IT, SECURE IT!
100% of our readers are fishermen. Well over 90% also hunt with either rifles, shotguns or handguns – scoped or not.
This past summer I was just about to print a photo of a happy and handsome 3-year old holding the first trout of his life. Before going to press the family contacted me with tearful information that the boy was no longer with us. He had found his parent’s loaded gun.
I shared my sorrow with the family and sent a notice to all our retailers that sell guns, asking them to please post signage on all their gun and ammo cases about gun safety. To the best of my knowledge they did just that. The response was overwhelming.
We are in the middle of hunting seasons here in the Pacific Northwest. Many of us may tend to be a little more careless with our guns, more so than other times of the year when hunting seasons aren’t so prevalent.
John “Westy” Westerfield is the manager of Yeager’s Sporting Goods in Bellingham, WA and by his own account, he is “…psycho when it comes to firearm safety…” He does a short radio-blip titled Gun Talk. Upon hearing the news about the boy, he asked me to share some information with all of our readers.
Firearm Safety per Westy:
- All guns are loaded, treat them as such.
- Keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction.
- Keep your finger off the trigger and outside the trigger guard until you have decided to fire.
- Be sure of your target and backstop.
- Alcohol and gunpowder don’t mix.
- Lock your guns up, preferably in a gun case.
- Record your serial numbers and keep the list separate from the guns.
- Have a friend keep an eye on your residence when gone, or get a security system.
- Study the owner’s manual for your firearm and re-read it from time to time.
- Practice and teach in-home firearms safety.
Westy has been in the gun industry business for over 40 years. He notes that far too many firearms get in the hands of people that shouldn’t have them and far too many accidents occur involving firearms that were not secured property. The National Shooting Sports Foundation sponsors a Child Safe Program. Many places, including Yeager’s, offers free basic cable locks that will work on almost any firearm. In Washington State there is no sales tax on gun safes.
Every year thousands of guns are stolen. Also every year guns are involved in tragic events, frequently involving children, because someone left a gun where it could be picked up by someone who shouldn’t have access to it. The only acceptable number of unintentional injuries or deaths is ZERO!
Own it, respect it and secure it!
As for me personally, I keep any clips and ammo locked in a separate area away from my guns, just in case.
Thank you Westy.