The Second Amendment of the Constitution protects your right as a civilian to own guns. As legal professionals, we know how important this right is to many Idahoans, as well as how complex the laws and opinions surrounding this controversial issue can be. It is essential for people to understand these laws, and proper gun safety, in order to ensure that responsible gun ownership remains protected.
Gun safety may be more important in Idaho than many other states, as the laws regulating ownership here are relatively lax. There are no permits required to purchase or possess any rifle, shotgun, or handgun—unless you wish to carry a concealed weapon, in which case you will need a license. Such a license only costs $20 and is good for five years. There are restrictions, however, on the handling of firearms and weapons by minors, and it is in cases like these that safety is of utmost importance.
Keeping Kids Safe around Guns
A few months ago, a 3-year old boy in South Carolina shot and killed himself after getting ahold of a loaded gun inside of a private home. Tragedies like this illustrate the importance of proper gun storage and safety at all times and in all places. The state of Idaho seeks to promote such safety by requiring written parental consent for a minor to buy a weapon. In addition, a minor must have this consent with them or be accompanied by a parent or guardian when in possession of the weapon. Laws like these help in the effort towards greater gun safety, but there is still much that can be done. There is no substitute for individual caution and common sense. Here are some useful tips for keeping children safe around your guns, courtesy of the National Shooting Sports Foundation:
Firearms should be unloaded when they are not in use. This can prevent a great number of accidents, as the majority of children are unaware of how to load a gun. In addition, keep guns pointed in a safe direction when storing them or removing them from storage.
Lock them Up
Store your guns under lock and key—like in a safe, cabinet, or vault—so that they don’t end up in the wrong hands.
Then Lock them Again
Use a gun lock in addition to storing your firearm in a locked location; this provides two lines of defense in case something goes wrong.
Make Safety a Priority
Unload, clean, and store your guns as soon as possible after you are done using them.
Educate yourself and your family about the dangers of firearms and proper behavior in dealing with them. Organizations like Project ChildSafe are dedicated to this effort, and can help you keep your family and friends safe. There is no better way to prevent an accident than education and preparation.
Steve Sanetti, the president and CEO of NSSF, points out that “nearly all accidents in the home can be prevented when gun owners take simple precautions, and proper storage is the number one way to help prevent accidents.”
We’re Here to Help
At Hansen Injury Law, we know that most gun owners in Idaho are responsible, safety-minded people. We applaud your efforts to keep yourself and the people around you safe. But accidents happen, and that is why these safety precautions are so important. If you or someone close to you has been injured or killed in an accident caused by unsafe gun practices, we want to help. Contact us today and let us know how we can best help you.