The gift of a gun; give safety education, too

Good Day Dakota

Among a variety of presents under the tree .. there could be one in particular that requires some follow up once it’s unwrapped.

If you’re giving the gift of a gun, it’s important to put safety first.

Although you have to be 18 to buy a gun, those under 18 can legally possess bb guns, rifles, or shotguns, but NOT handguns.

Like any weapon, it comes with warning to be sure to use firearms properly.

We’ve all heard it before “you’ll shoot your eye out, kid!” .. but there’s good reason behind the storyline of the Christmas classic, ‘A Christmas Story.’

Wayne Stanley, a long-time hunter education instructor with North Dakota Game and Fish, said the classes he teaches focus more on gun safety  rather than learning to actually hunt.

Things to remember include using eye and ear protection, keeping your ammunition stored separately, and following the ten commandments of gun safety using the acronym ‘A CHUM SPORT.’

“Every gun whether it’s a BB gun or a pellet gun, a .22 or a deer rifle, it’s a tool, it’s not a toy. So as you give these presents to your kids at Christmas time, understand you need to spend time teaching them the proper usage of them,” Stanley said.

A: (A)void the use of alcohol or other mood altering drugs

C: Never (c)limb a fence or tree, or jump a ditch with a loaded firearm
H: Never shoot a (h)ard, flat surface or water
U: (U)nload firearms when not in use
M: Control the direction of your firearm’s (m)uzzle

S: (S)tore firearms and ammunition separately
P: Never (p)oint a firearm at anything you do not want to shoot
O: Be sure barrel and action are clear of (o)bstructions
R: Treat every firearm with the same (r)espect as a loaded firearm
T: Identify your (t)arget and what is beyond it

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